The Portland Cement Association (PCA) announced its support for the Preserving America’s Infrastructure Dollars (PAID) Act, H.R. 5578, which is a new bipartisan legislative proposal that would increase competition for infrastructure projects and give states the tools needed to make the best use of taxpayer dollars.
Introduced by Rep. Jason Lewis (R-Minn.) and co-sponsored by Reps. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.), Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) and Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), the bill would specifically require states to conduct a life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) on infrastructure projects that use federal financial assistance and have a value of $30 million or more.
“Competition is good for America, and a part of our economy’s DNA,” said PCA President and CEO Michael Ireland. “Where competition exists, consumers benefit – and in this case, that means the taxpayers whose hard-earned dollars are going to much-needed highway and bridge revitalization.”
Short-term thinking and a focus on initial costs frequently drive decisions on infrastructure, Ireland noted. This has resulted in less competition among paving materials, for example, costing taxpayers billions and the construction of infrastructure simply not built to last.
“It’s time to not only focus on how you fund infrastructure, but also how you spend those funds,” Ireland said. “The PAID Act takes the right approach by leveling the playing field and helping states make the best spending decision for their citizens.”
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Concrete Sustainability Hub found that over a five-year period U.S. states “spent at least 64 percent of their paving budget on asphalt pavements for DOT projects. There are several states where virtually no competition exists between these two paving industries.” Similarly, a recent report on infrastructure policy by the American Council for Capital Formation concluded that “opening up projects to competition from different and innovative technologies, as well as competing materials, could help achieve more efficient and cost-effective proposals.”
PCA recently released an analysis that estimates taxpayers would save $91 million for every $1 billion spent on infrastructure, or 9.1 percent, if LCCA is incorporated into the process.