Statement by IBTTA Executive Director on State of the Union Address

Jan. 21, 2015
Patrick Jones issued the following statement on the State of the Union address.

“In his State of the Union Address tonight, President Obama said that Republicans and Democrats must work together to make critical repairs and improvements to our long-neglected transportation infrastructure. As the economy starts back on the right track, Congress can rescue this vital part of our economic engine from further deterioration.

"The president and the 114th Congress must acknowledge that current federal resources are too limited to satisfy the states' urgent surface transportation needs. Before another bridge collapses, Congress must examine every revenue source to find sustainable ways to build, maintain, and reconstruct our nation’s bridges, tunnels and highways.

"States are more than willing to do their share to accomplish their transportation goals. IBTTA urges the president and Congress to work together to provide states with greater flexibility to meet their individual transportation funding needs—including the right to use tolling on their existing Interstate highways for the purpose of reconstruction.

"Historically, tolling has played a key role in driving the nation's economy. Tolls helped build the roads, tunnels and bridges that expanded commerce, drove our westward expansion, and pulled us out of the Great Depression. Today, states can use tolling to build a transportation system that paves the way for better jobs, better wages and a better life for America's middle-class.

"Tolling is one of the most powerful, effective and time-tested tools in the funding toolbox. IBTTA hopes that the president and Congress fulfill their promise to work together to give states the key to unlock this critical funding."