A strong national infrastructure plan was one of the key initiatives put forward in President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last week.
The Portland Cement Association (PCA) has long supported a nationwide plan to reconstruct our nation’s crumbling roads and bridges, which are critical to the nation's economy and security. The association strongly believes that to achieve a sound investment of taxpayer dollars, legislation authorizing infrastructure construction and reconstruction using durable and resilient materials should be passed.
“Nearly 71 percent of U.S. roads are graded fair to poor,” said James G. Toscas, president and chief executive officer at PCA. “This is certainly not worthy of a global leader like the U.S, and the trend will get worse without an investment – the right kind of investment – in our nation's infrastructure. It makes no sense to spend billions of dollars on infrastructure that needs to be repaired after less than 10 years when we know how to build sustainable, resilient structures that last for decades.”
According to Toscas, selecting the right materials to construct a road or bridge not only assures a long service life, but reduces emissions to the environment and saves money over its entire lifetime. “For example, we burn more than 174 billion gallons of fuel each year for transportation in the U.S., which is responsible for 27 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions. And research makes clear how fuel economy is affected by pavement: more flexible pavement hurts fuel economy, and more rigid pavement – like that made from concrete – provides better fuel economy.”