June 15, 2011
Hundreds of hard-hat workers from across America and representing all parts of the road construction industry and related materials suppliers rallied on the National Mall on May 25 in support of a multi-year surface transportation bill.
The “Rally for the Roads” was held in conjunction with the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) Fly-In.
Congressional and industry speakers told the cheering crowd the bill is needed to create tens of thousands of new well-paying American jobs in road construction.
The rally was sponsored by 10 associations in the roadbuilding industry and their suppliers led by the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) and the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA).
“Only passage of a well-funded, multi-year highway reauthorization bill can alleviate the uncertainty that plagues our industry from hiring new employees and purchasing new equipment, and prevents state DOTs from undertaking long-term projects, which ultimately threatens America’s economic recovery and growth,” said Dave Thomey, executive vice president, Maryland Materials, Inc. and chairman of NSSGA.
An estimated 35,000 jobs are created by every $1 billion of new federal highway investment. In addition to the long-term benefit to the economy, federal highway investment will have the short-term benefit of helping speed the economic recovery.
“The concrete reinforcing steel industry has dropped from a pre-recession quantity of about 10 million tons in 2007 to 6 million tons in 2010, a 40 percent drop. A six-year surface transportation bill is the only way we can put people back to work,” said Bob Risser, president and CEO of the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute.
Karl Watson, president of Cemex USA and chairman of NRMCA, noted that investment in the nation’s infrastructure “is of vital importance to our economy, and we urge Congress to pass a robust multi-year highway bill that will put people back to work and improve safety on our nation’s roads.”
Additional sponsors of the “Rally for Roads” include American Concrete Pavement Association, American Council of Engineering Companies, American Road & Transportation Builders Association, Associated Equipment Distributors, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, International Safety Equipment Association, National Asphalt Pavement Association, and Portland Cement Association.