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How Kentucky is faring with infrastructure funding

By |  August 13, 2019
Aggregate producers like Quality Stone & Ready Mix would like to see more action on infrastructure take place at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfurt, Kentucky. Photo: iStock.com/fotoguy22

Aggregate producers like Quality Stone & Ready Mix would like to see more action on infrastructure take place at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfurt, Kentucky. Photo: iStock.com/fotoguy22

Although the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gives Kentucky a better grade on infrastructure (C-) than it does the United States as a whole (D+), there’s no question the Bluegrass State is one of many states across the nation in dire need of infrastructure improvements.

Kentucky’s roads (D+) and bridges (C-) received low grades in ASCE’s 2019 report card, but surface transportation across the state is in a slightly better position today than it was when ASCE last issued a report on Kentucky’s infrastructure.

According to ASCE, Kentucky is better positioned today due to the 2016 implementation of the Strategic Highway Investment Formula for Tomorrow evaluation and scoring system, as well as a Kentucky Transportation Cabinet program that aims to restore more than 1,000 municipal and county bridges over a seven-year period.

Still, work remains to be done across Kentucky. State lawmakers have discussed raising Kentucky’s gas tax by 10 cents per gallon, but the Kentucky General Assembly has yet to see such a measure through.

“We’ve been pushing to raise the gas tax in Kentucky for years,” says Kevin Holloway, Quality Stone & Ready Mix vice president. “I think we’re missing an opportunity.”

According to Holloway, the economy in Kentucky is currently strong. He worries the opportunity to properly fund the state’s infrastructure will pass legislators by.

“We’re going to have a downturn in the economy, and there’s not going to be any money to fund infrastructure,” he says. “Now is the time to do it.”

The Kentucky General Assembly put a floor on the state’s fuel tax earlier this decade, meaning the tax cannot drop below 26 cents per gallon if fuel prices continue to plummet. That was one step in the right direction, but Holloway argues more must be done.

“Funding infrastructure is for the good of everybody,” says Kevin, whose company primarily serves the residential market.


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