A Stronger, Sustainable National Infrastructure

For centuries, humankind has relied on concrete to safeguard our families and ensure the security of our communities. We continue to use concrete because it is strong, and durable, and more able to withstand Mother Nature's temperament. In fact, today we use more concrete than any other material except water. Just imagine what you see in cities across the world: buildings, sidewalks, and roads are all made with concrete. We use this material so often because we trust it. We have trusted it for centuries to withstand the Earth's changes and human development. Concrete has stood the test of time and proven, over and over again, that it can and will continue to safeguard our way of life.

The Portland Cement Association (PCA) believes there are many ways that concrete can help us throughout the United States today. The U.S. could benefit from stronger runways, able to withstand heavier planes. We need more water infrastructure development to ensure our families remain safe from severe storms and flooding events. And we need continued research and development into pavements to ensure that drivers across the country can arrive safely and quickly, while lessening the environmental impact. Action is needed on several issues from the Federal government to make that a reality.

Congress must act to pass a Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill. WRDA authorizes construction and maintenance activities associated with our national water infrastructure system. It authorizes the Army Corps of Engineers to undertake planning and construction projects that are vital to our nation's infrastructure. And in a time of tight budgetary constraints, the Corps should utilize all manners of ensuring construction projects that will endure. Resilient construction techniques will ensure that the government doesn't have to rebuild these projects because the end of the useful life.

Additionally, Congress should ensure that airports across America can keep up with increasing demand and continue to serve as important hubs for transportation, shipping, and economic development. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) should be reauthorized to address safety, planning and development of modern airports. The reauthorization bill must address issues of airport infrastructure. Funds should be increased for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) to provide safety, capacity, security, and environmental enhancements at public-use airports.

We know the importance of these projects and the impact they can have on individuals across the country. PCA was established 100 years ago, and even back in 1916 the association advocated for the improvement of our nation's infrastructure. We were pleased to see the passage of the FAST Act, a long-term transportation bill. The bill allows for the latest research and innovation to come to the roads we travel across every single day. The bill includes language for a study on the impact of pavement durability and fuel economy, and allows cutting-edge technology to help transportation officials improve the condition, cost effectiveness and sustainability of our pavements. Equally important, the bill is a long-term solution. Long term bills allow for more precise and proper construction planning, which saves taxpayer money and construction headaches. PCA applauds the work of Congress to pass the FAST Act, and we hope for similarly successful bills in the coming months.