REP. MILLER VOTES FOR MICHIGAN ROADWAYS AND CARBON FIBER BRIDGES
Please see the Press Release below from Congresswoman Candice Miller who successfully sponsored an amendment to the National Highway Bridge Reconstruction Act which directs the Secretary of Transportation to conduct a study on the cost benefit of using carbon fiber composite materials in bridge replacement projects.
Of course, the Senate and the President have to approve the Act, however, this is an important piece of legislation for our country, for the State of Michigan, and potentially for the work being conducted at the Center for Innovative Materials Research (CIMR) at Lawrence Tech – which was recently designated as an Michigan Department of Transportation Center of Excellence.
Below are clips downloaded from CSPAN of Cong. Miller and House Transportation & Infrastructure Chairman, Cong. James Oberstar during the Amendment adoption Wednesday evening, July 23.
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Congresswoman Candice S. Miller
Michigan’s 10th Congressional District
House Committee on Homeland Security
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
For Immediate Release
July 24, 2008
REP. MILLER VOTES FOR MICHIGAN ROADWAYS
WASHINGTON, DC -- Congresswoman Candice Miller, MI-10, has cast important votes in the U.S. House of Representatives on bills that will steer billions of dollars to a federal road repair fund and direct the U.S. Department of Transportation to study new bridge construction techniques currently used in Michigan.
Rep. Miller successfully sponsored an amendment to the National Highway Bridge Reconstruction Act which directs the Secretary of Transportation to conduct a study on the cost benefit of using carbon fiber composite materials in bridge replacement projects.
“In Michigan we like to think we are on the leading edge of all kinds of technology, and carbon fiber is another product we are pioneering,” Miller said. “All of the world’s great economies were based on strong transportation grids. With this type of investment and technology, we are guaranteeing Michigan and the United States are well positioned to improve infrastructure in the years to come.”
Carbon fiber reinforced polymer is sturdier, less susceptible to corrosion and more durable than steel. The Michigan Department of Transportation used carbon fiber rods developed by Lawrence Technological University in Southfield to reinforce concrete in Bridge Street Bridge Project in Southfield and plans to use it three more projects in the next two years
“This is a vital step in providing key findings for the research, development and deployment of innovative, high-strength bridge technology designed to replace the 72,264 structurally deficient and 81,257 functionally obsolete bridges throughout the United States,” said Lewis N. Walker, president of Lawrence Technological University.
The amendment and the bill were approved Thursday 367-55 by the U.S. House of Representatives and now go to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
If approved by the Senate, and signed by the President, the Department of Transportation has 180 days to report their findings to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Rep. Miller also voted Wednesday to transfer $8 billion into the federal Highway Trust Fund, which would have put thousands of construction jobs in jeopardy had the bill not passed.
“Michigan’s federal highway funds would have been cut by $245 million and resulted in a loss of 8,500 jobs. The impact nationally would rival that amount,” said Miller, of the possible cut in road funding. “This vote came at a unique time in history when you have China and other countries investing in transportation and infrastructure. Failure to pass this bill would have derailed our efforts to keep pace and put people out of work.”
The bill now goes to the Senate, and if approved, it will go to the President who has threatened a veto.
Rep. Miller’s votes for Michigan roadways came just days after a report was released by the Citizens Advisory Committee on Transportation Funding which called for Michigan to double its spending on roads and bridges to stop them from deteriorating and becoming a safety issue.