Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Trucking Associations Launch Attack on Politicians Over State of Transport Infrastructure

Parlous State of US Roads Spotlighted in Six Figure, Eight Week Advertising Campaign
Shipping News Feature
US – Year after year the row over the lack of money to repair and reinvigorate transport infrastructure in the country goes on, seemingly without any end in sight. Crumbling highways, collapsing bridges, all evidence of a lack of investment. Now the might of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) is about to focus on humiliating politicians into actually doing something to resolve a situation estimated to be costing the country billions with delays to freight traffic and personal motorists alike.

Starting tomorrow (April 3) the ATA is launching a media and grassroots campaign that calls on Washington to act now to pass comprehensive funding legislation and shows the personal toll of the nation's deteriorating infrastructure. With a media teleconference at 10:30 am EDT, Wednesday, April 3 ATA President and CEO Chris Spear will release full details of an all-out attack which includes a six-figure, eight-week television and digital ad buy, which will begin airing in the Washington, DC market this week, with additional markets to follow.

The media buy will be backed by a rolling grassroots presence on Capitol Hill. During the months of April, May and June,18 state trucking associations, representing a combined 2.6 million trucking industry jobs between them, will fly to Washington to meet with their representatives in Congress, calling for an infrastructure bill. The campaign is also planning for local events in key Congressional districts across the country, including ride-alongs with Members of Congress in their regions to show America’s worst traffic bottlenecks.

The ATA, along with a broad coalition of interests representing America’s business and labour communities, has been leading the call for an increase in the federal fuel user fee to fund desperately-needed road and bridge repairs and maintenance. The new campaign ad will frame the infrastructure issue in personal terms, capturing how and why this issue matters to the average citizen. It will challenge policymakers and newsmakers to experience the human toll of poor infrastructure, reminding them it is about more than just pay-fors, politics and process.

Our own enquiries with the Department of Transportation some four years ago revealed that the TIGER grants made available to ameliorate the situation then saw just 3 cents actually allocated to schemes for every dollar requested.

Photo: In August 2007 thirteen people were killed and 145 injured when the I-35W Mississippi River bridge at St Anthony Falls collapsed during the rush hour. One contractor had pulled out of the 1960’s project after discussions with the Minnesota Department of Transportation allegedly citing safety issues with the design as proposed.