Action – and Results – Needed Now on the Highway Trust Fund

May 4, 2015
Tom Smith, Executive Director

ASCE Executive Director Tom Smith

Across this country, the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of our roads, bridges, canals, dams, and water systems depends on a collaboration of federal, state, and local support. The importance of the work we do as civil engineers cannot be understated – our projects keep the nation moving and globally competitive.

But the clock is ticking on that federal support for our roads, bridges, and transit systems. The Highway Trust Fund will be insolvent in just a few weeks – on May 31, 2015.

ASCE believes that we must fix the funding problem now with a long-term, sustainable revenue solution to maintain our quality of life and keep America competitive. We support an increase in the federal gas tax to solve the long-term problem. As you know, the last increase was was 1993, when a loaf of bread was 75 cents, a pound of coffee was $2.50, and a new car was $12,750. In today’s world, that loaf now costs $1.41, that coffee costs $5.21, and that car costs $31,252 (in 2013 dollars). Yet the gas tax remains at 18.4 cents a gallon.

Clearly, the nation’s roads and bridges need attention. Our 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gave the nation’s roads a D grade and bridges a C+.  Unless long-term investments are made, the nation’s deteriorating surface transportation will cost the American economy more than 876,000 jobs and limit the growth of GDP through 2020 by $897 billion.

The Society is working on Capitol Hill to ensure that our collective voices are heard on this critical public safety and infrastructure-funding need. ASCE works closely with many allied organizations, and I participated in a panel discussion on this important topic last week with the American Automobile Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, both of which also support an increase in the federal gas tax. But we need your assistance. Please take a few minutes today to send a letter to your members of Congress urging them to act now to address this funding crisis.

Tom Smith






ASCE: Your Professional Community

June 1 entry deadline approaching for 2016 OPAL, OCEA Awards; individual, innovation, and sustainability honors

ASCE is now accepting nominations for many of its most prestigious awards honoring outstanding individuals and innovative civil engineering projects. Know someone worthy of recognition? Don’t miss this opportunity to share in the Society’s celebration of outstanding accomplishments in the civil engineering field. Review all ASCE Award deadlines.

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New webinar packages and a summer special for all members

  • ASCE released new structural, on-demand webinar packages, which include Seismic Design, Wind Design, Wood Structures, Concrete and Masonry Structures, Snow Loads, Steel Structures, Building Renovation, Stream Restoration, Landfills and Waste Containment, and Pavements.
  • ASCE also offers members a wide range of free eLearning webinars for civil engineering continuing education as well as business development and management. Among our eLearning webinars this month is “What You Don’t Know Can Cost You: Understanding Engineers’ Professional Liability Insurance.” Members can register to participate in the live webinar or watch the archived version on demand.
  • Individual ASCE members who register for any live webinar taking place in June, July, or August will receive the special reduced rate of $99 automatically when registering. This applies to both 60-minute and 90-minute webinars.

In addition, members can earn up to 2.8 CEUs/28 PDHs and save up to 40%. View all ASCE webinars.

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