This fireside chat recap is from FreightWaves’ Domestic Supply Chain Summit.
FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Unlocking the bipartisan infrastructure package.
DETAILS: With the long-awaited $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill finally signed into law on Nov. 15, the next questions are: What projects will get the money and when? Will the money flow in time to address the current supply chain crisis? In this fireside chat, freight policy expert Elaine Nessle provides insights.
SPEAKER: Nessle is the executive director of the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC).
BIO: Nessle previously served as CAGTC’s director of operations and advocacy. In that position, she built grassroots and congressional support for CAGTC policies and provided coalition members with legislative analysis and federal updates on areas affecting freight and goods movement. Before joining CAGTC, Elaine wrote for the Elmira (New York) Star-Gazette, where she reported for the daily newspaper and a monthly health magazine.
KEY QUOTES FROM NESSLE:
“While other countries have continued to double-down on investments to increase their global economic competitiveness, our investment levels have flatlined. We have not kept pace with demand, we have not kept pace with inflation. This law really rights the ship on this. But our needs continue to grow year after year, and we can’t look at this as a one-time thing where our job is done and we can all go home. This is the level of investment we need to sustain for years into the future.”
“The Chicago CREATE [Chicago Regional Environmental and Transportation Efficiency] program has impacts in every corner of the country. It is an enormous book of projects that need to be done in order to untangle freight systems in the region. There has been great progress over the years and chipping away at some of the projects in the program, but they still have a ways to go, and so funding coming through the IIJA will be very suitable for addressing those needs and moving that project to completion.”
“The infrastructure for us as commuters is inconvenient and we pay for it through the increased cost of goods. But for truck drivers, when they hit potholes, when they sit in congestion — that’s literally their workplace. So hopefully by increasing infrastructure there will be more people who are interested in joining the field, because it will be more comfortable with decreased congestion, and less headaches with wear and tear and damage to their trucks. Just a better quality of life for them.”