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As American Bridges Collapse, Bipartisan Transportation Bill Still a Bridge Too Far for House GOP

House Republicans aren’t just jeopardizing our economic recovery by blocking a job-creating, Senate-passed transportation bill – they’re jeopardizing the safety of the American people.  And that risk was unmistakable at the International Bridge Conference on Monday:

Essential Public Radio – Conferees: Federal Transportation Funding in State of Crisis

With the current federal transportation funding plan scheduled to expire July 1, speakers at the International Bridge Conference in Pittsburgh on Monday declared a crisis situation in the maintenance and repair of the nation’s dilapidated bridges.

“If ever there was a crisis, it is now,” said Kirk Steudle, President of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). He said Congress should pass a new transportation funding bill this year, rather than continually relying on extensions of the “SAFETEA-LU” funding formula…

The country’s bridges are deteriorating at an alarming rate, according to Construction Risk Management CEO Timothy Galarnyk. He said the U.S. experienced thirty bridge collapses between 1980 and 2009, but bridges are collapsing more often in recent years.

“In the 29 months from January 1, 2010 until June 1, 2012, there were 22 bridge collapses or failures in this country,” said Galarnyk. “That’s one bridge collapse or failure every 1.3 months.”

The safety of our country’s roads and bridges should not be held captive to partisan politics.  Instead of staying the course on their “my way or no highway” agenda, House Republicans must take a cue from their friends across the Capitol and put the security of the American people – not to mention more than 2 million jobs – first, and pass the bipartisan, Senate transportation bill as soon as they return to Washington.

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