AGRIBUSINESS: U.S. Roads In Poor Condition

Roads across the United States are in poor condition, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers or ASCE.

In its 2013 report card, the ASCE graded U.S. roads a “D” and America’s bridges were awarded a “C+” rating for structural deficiency.

To get the nation’s roads back to the top of the class, the Soy Transportation Coalition is examining the impacts of state and federal legislation that would lower the gasoline and diesel tax by one penny, then index the tax to inflation.  The new funds would go into supporting roads and bridges.

As it currently stands, gas taxes are increased by votes in the statehouse or Congress.  Executive Director Mark Steenhoek said a better tactic would be indexing the tax to inflation with a short-term, one-penny decrease on the tax to sweeten the deal for lawmakers.

“When your strategy is just to increase the number of cents per gallon, you might get some immediate relief but it’s only a matter of time,” Steenhoek said.

“Given the fact that construction costs go up, you’re going to run into the same problem: funding gaps,” he said.

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