To: Rebecca Lockhart, Brad Dee, Greg Hughes, Don Ipson, Melvin Brown, Brad Wilson, Dean Sanpei,
Subject: ASCE Support of SB60
Date: Mon Mar 10 16:25:54 MDT 2014
I am writing on behalf of the Utah Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to urge you to move to enact new revenues for transportation. Founded in 1852, ASCE represents more than 140,000 members of the civil engineering profession worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE has more than 1,400 members in Utah.
ASCE is a major proponent of repairing and maintaining America’s infrastructure, which is vital to the overall health of our communities. The infrastructure of the nation as a whole is aging and is in need of upgrade and maintenance. Aging and insufficient infrastructure has significant ramifications on public health and safety as well as the economic viability of our communities. We are encouraged that the legislature is moving to take action on transportation investment, and urge you to finish the job by enacting SB 60.
In Utah, adequate revenues must be collected and allocated to maintain and improve the state’s transportation systems, and sustained source of revenue is essential to achieve these goals. Utah is not alone in that our state transportation revenues are not keeping pace with escalating construction costs and burgeoning travel demand. Years of underinvestment in aging infrastructure are building into a crisis.
The public roadway system continues to deteriorate largely due to the age of the system. Much of the state’s public roadways system was built or modernized between the 1940s-1960s which means there is wave of infrastructure needs that require significant investment due to their life cycle.
The state faces an $11.3 billion shortfall during the next 30 years for planned highway and mass transit projects. Revenues from the gas tax are not keeping up with the costs of maintain Utah’s infrastructure, and the state has not increased the gas tax in 17 years.
Aging and insufficient infrastructure has significant ramifications on public health and safety as well as the economic viability of our communities. ASCE supports a variety of revenue streams for infrastructure investments, including an increase in the motor fuels tax. The Utah legislature needs to act now to stem the tide of inadequate infrastructure funding in the state.
According to ASCE’s 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, driving on roads in need of repair costs Utah motorists an average of $197 per motorist in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs. The Report Card also notes that 25% of Utah’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
Surface transportation infrastructure is a critical engine of the Utah economy. It is the thread which knits the state and nation together. To compete in the global economy, improve our quality of life and raise our standard of living, we must successfully maintain the State’s public infrastructure. Faced with that task, the State must continue to maintain, improve and expand the state’s surface transportation system, which can only be accomplished through maintaining adequate levels of funding.
We are encouraged that the issue of transportation investment has received serious discussion in the Utah legislature this year. Now, we urge you to finish the job by enacting a plan to help address this critical issue.
Brian Andrew, PE
President, Utah Section of American Society of Civil Engineers