Industry calls on Congress for long-term highway bill at rally

By |  March 18, 2015

Industry association leaders gathered Wednesday at the AGG1 Expo in Baltimore for a rally, urging those in attendance to reach out to Congress to develop a permanent solution for the Highway Trust Fund.

The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association‘s Mike Johnson joined three others in promoting the message.

“We have record turnout here at this show and a record number of exhibitors and exhibit space,” said Dennis Slater, president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. “The problem is with market uncertainty out there, these manufacturers are not going to be selling the products they should be in the coming year. With that, they’re not going to be hiring people.”

Pete Ruane, president of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, delivered a similar message, pointing out that the current surface transportation reauthorization expires May 31 and that Congress will soon be on recess.

“Our industry is already at a stalemate,” Ruane said. “Four states have announced cessation of all their federal aid work. Remember two years ago when we were in the same situation? Twenty-one states stopped their federal aid projects. We’re looking at that again.”

Kevin Kelly, president at Walsh & Kelly Inc., also participated in the rally.

“Thanks to some of the leadership in Congress, they’re doing a nice job of talking about this issue,” Kelly said. “It is getting attention verbally. But it is time to stop talking about it verbally and act. Find the money, get a bill done and get it done now.”

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Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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