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Senate Banking Committee Hearing Another Step Towards Long-Term, Reliable Investment in Safe Roads and Bridges

Washington, D.C. (March 6, 2014) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement on the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing today on the federal responsibility for transportation infrastructure and the re-authorization of  the MAP-21 Highway Bill:


"LIUNA applauds today's testimony in support of strengthening the federal role in maintaining, fixing and making safer our nation’s transportation system. Congress should move forward on a long-term Highway Bill that invests in unsafe roads and bridges in states, counties and cities across America. Letting the Highway Trust Fund go broke – as it is on path to do by this summer – will result in more deteriorating roads and bridges, higher future costs and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs and significant economic growth. The average bridge in our country is 45 years old, dangerously close to the average 50-year lifespan. A fourth of our bridges are obsolete or deficient. Typically, 25 bridges a year collapse in the U.S. We remember all too well the true cost of neglect, with the I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis, which killed 13 people and injured 145 others. We are optimistic that the momentum building for a long-term, reliable investment in our transportation infrastructure signals the end of the duct-tape approach Congress has taken in the past."