Second, over 40% of the $11 trillion in domestic truck-freight shipments in 2011 were sent out of state, according to Federal Highway Administration data. Over 23% of that total was sent to non-neighboring states, which is more prima facie evidence of a national transportation network's importance to moving products and supplies critical to economic growth. This network cannot be built and sustained through a patchwork of state and private-sector efforts.
Given what's at stake, now is the time for every industry professional who is concerned about their business's future to get ready to fight in the next few months.
Take your message directly to Washington. Tell your representative and senators to do their bloody jobs by—as soon as possible—fixing the Highway Trust Fund and reauthorizing MAP-21. And download the Transportation Construction Advocate™ app from the iTunes or Google Play stores to access the information you need to connect with your congressional delegation.
In a famous 1940 speech to the House of Commons, Winston Churchill said, "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender."
While obviously speaking about much weightier issues, the sentiment rings true for the imminent battle over the Highway Trust Fund and our industry's future: Surrender is not an option.
T. Peter Ruane is chief executive of the Washington, D.C.-based American Road & Transportation Builders Association. He can be reached at 202-289-4434.