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LIUNA: Public-Private Partnerships Help But Don’t Replace Federal Role in Securing Our Roads and Bridges

Washington, D.C. (March 5, 2014) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America –made the following statement on the U.S. House Transportation & Commerce Committee’s round table discussion held today held by the special panel on Public-Private Partnerships:

“Today’s hearing highlighted the significant role of public-private partnerships in speeding up our nation’s ability to upgrade and make safer America’s roads and bridges, all while creating good jobs. Public-private partnerships play a key role, but can’t replace the federal role. The duct-tape approach Congress has taken in the past to our transportation infrastructure crisis has resulted in a fourth of our bridges becoming deficient or obsolete while our roadways are congested, pot-hole ridden and falling apart. The average bridge in our country is 45 years old, dangerously close to the average 50-year lifespan. Typically, 25 bridges a year collapse in the U.S. With I-35 collapse in Minneapolis, killing 13 people and injuring 145 others, we remember all too well the true cost of such neglect.

“We look forward to Congress moving forward toward a long-term Highway Bill before our nation’s Highway Trust Fund goes broke in just a matter of months. Failing to act could cost our economy $3.1 trillion in GDP, $1.1 trillion in trade and 3.5 million in jobs by 2020. Our half-million LIUNA members, some of the best trained workers in the world, are ready to help get the job done, safe and sound.”

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The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction industry, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America. For the latest news, check out our media kit here.