Lewis introduces legislation for cost-efficient and effective infrastructure

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Washington, April 25, 2018 | comments

WASHINGTON D.C.-- Congressman Jason Lewis (MN-02) issued the following statement after introducing H.R. 5578 the Preserving America’s Infrastructure Dollars (PAID) Act of 2018, which will increase the usage of  Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) for large federally funded infrastructure projects.

“Infrastructure is the backbone of America, and the roads, highways, and bridges built or repaired should be made to last. Under the bipartisan PAID Act, federally funded projects would need to undergo LCCA to factor in initial building costs and future costs such as maintenance, to evaluate the economic efficiency between various construction options and designs. Many states, including Minnesota, already perform LCCAs for construction projects—in fact, Minnesota conducted 43 analyses to more effectively develop infrastructure in 2017 alone. This process encourages market competition and strong stewardship of taxpayer dollars, while allowing states to retain the flexibility to make the best decision for their communities.”

Background:

The use of LCCA has been supported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and organizations like the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHTO) discussed the benefit to agencies of understanding costs on the basis of service of life for decades.  In fact, Congress has debated the use of LCCAs since the 1990’s and has instructed the Department of Transportation to develop recommendations for their use.  Since then, FHWA has issued detailed guidance to states, FHWA offers analysis software, and the project engineering marketplace has seen development of other tools that leverage LCCA principles.

Recently, the nonpartisan nonprofit American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF) released a study entitled “How to Shape U.S. Infrastructure Policy,” which included a recommendation that all major infrastructure projects use LCCA in the decision making process. ACCF found that “taking a long-run view while evaluating infrastructure projects could save significant sums of money both at the federal and local levels over the life of a project.”

Organizations endorsing this legislation include: Cement Association, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, American Concrete Paving Association, GCC of America, American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF), National Concreate Masonry Association (NCMA), American Concrete Pumping Association (ACPA), Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, Midstate Reclamation and Trucking, LafargeHolcim, and Americans for Tax Reform.

Statements on the use of highway analyses:

“Americans are united in the belief that now is the time to invest in infrastructure – and those investments should be made wisely. Including LCCA in future federal infrastructure legislation is good stewardship of taxpayer dollars, and in many ways serves as a guardrail for delivering return on investment for the federal government and states.”

           - Mike Ireland, President & CEO of Portland Cement Association

“The Boilermakers are proud to represent hard-working men and women in the U.S. cement industry which is a vital component of our nation’s infrastructure needs. We are pleased to support the introduction of legislation that takes into account the life-cycle costs of building materials. When the benefits of long-lasting and durable concrete are taken into account, we believe the market for this valuable material will only be enhanced.”

             - Cecile Conroy, Government Affairs Director, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers

“The PAID Act should be supported by all members of Congress and be included in any broader infrastructure package. An LCCA ensures that infrastructure projects can be properly budgeted for over the long-term by requiring a detailed analysis of any project. Specifically, LCCAs measure the long-term cost of building and maintaining infrastructure, including initial costs, future costs such as routine maintenance and reconstruction, and the cost of using alternative materials. Almost 50 percent of infrastructure costs are future costs such as maintenance, rehabilitation, and restoration, so requiring LCCAs will ensure that agencies are armed with information to make the most cost-effective decisions when allocating infrastructure dollars.”

               - Grover G. Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform

“The American Highway Users Alliance --which represents the interests of fuel and truck taxpayers -- supports aggressive, systemic action to restore the status of American roads and bridges to that of the finest in the world and manage these assets over their useful lifetime. Users of American roads should be confident that our roads and roadsides are safe, our bridges are strong and long-lasting, and our pavements smooth, durable, and well-preserved. The Highway Users supports federal policy that encourages the States to keep federal taxpayers’ interests in mind by evaluating the short and long-term benefits of various, value-engineered construction and materials approaches. However, we agree the States should not be required or encouraged by the federal government to select a particular construction material over another as part of the evaluation process.”

                 - American Highway Users Alliance

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