Mayor, Leaders Urge Congressional Action on Highway Funds


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO):  An urgent cry for action.

Using the backdrop of a school bus smashed by falling concrete, Mayor Tom Henry and City Councilman Geoff Paddock joined union representatives in lobbying for public support for fixing local bridges.

They are pleading for Congress to pass a long-term highway investment bill. They hope the bus serves as a reminder of what they call America's “crumbling bridges and roads.”

It's part of the “Getting Schooled in Infrastructure” campaign from LIUNA – the Laborer's Union of North America. The bus is canvasing Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. 

Union officials say the current highway trust fund will go bankrupt in less than 90 days.  One of the proposed sources of funding is raising gas taxes. 

The union's chief officer, Terry O'Sullivan said in a prepared statement, “If Congress fails, it will be due to cowardice in standing up to extremists who are willing to to destroy the critical transportation infrastructure of our country to make an ideological political point.”

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry says many bridges in Allen County are in danger and now he wants those bridges renovated.

“The primary concern of mine is the safety of citizens and the movement of commerce. If our bridges are structurally weak, we are going have to shutdown those bridges. I will not have the citizens of Fort Wayne over bridges that would not support vehicular traffic.”