Over the past year, infrastructure has been talked about regularly as the “next big issue” for the White House and Congress to tackle. With tax reform out of the way and the midterm elections fast approaching, it is time for Congress and U.S. President Donald J. Trump to act.
On Jan. 30, 2018, during his State of the Union address to Congress, President Trump called for a $1.5 trillion investment in United States infrastructure. This is a massive figure, especially when you consider that the Highway Trust Fund, which is funded by federal fuel taxes and part of which is dedicated to federal road construction, only brings in approximately $50 billion dollars a year in tax revenue. For the president to achieve this ambitious goal, Congress will need to appropriate direct funding, and the states will need to share in the funding burden. The Highway Trust Fund does not have enough revenue to keep up with repairs or to make any significant investments in the building of new roads, bridges, ports, airports and railways.
In preparation for infrastructure legislation, the Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) has been hard at work lobbying Congress, the White House and appropriate federal/state agencies. Geosynthetics allow road builders to do more with less, increase construction speed and reduce the maintenance costs over the life of a project. Geosynthetics are a win-win for the nation’s infrastructure and should be considered the leading innovative material that can help the United States do more with less and create a first-rate infrastructure system.