As I drive to work, belting out a Katy Perry tune while double-fisting my morning coffee and the steering wheel, I consider everything that lay before me in the dayto come. One such consideration as of late has been the unsung transportation workforce and their influence on our daily lives. To make our commutes possible a sizable team of engineers, construction professionals, and technical specialists must align their wisdoms to meet the specifications that dictate how our transportation infrastructure must be designed and implemented. No matter how mundane our commutes may be at times, getting from point A to point B safely and efficiently is one luxury in life we should always be thankful for.
On January 1st, 2017, a piece of state legislation went into effect that will surely have an impact on our driving habits. Over the next four years, Nebraska will be raising the gas tax by 1.5 cents per year, bringing the total to a six-cent raise by the end of 2020. Over the lifetime of what is being called the “Transportation Innovation Act,” roughly $400 million will be utilized for state, city, and county transportation infrastructure projects.
As this increased funding trickles down to Nebraska’s streets, bridges, expressways, and highways, my hope is that we’ll remind ourselves of what these avenues of transportation allow us to accomplish. While tax increases aren’t usually a source of optimism in our conversations, it is hard to deny the intrinsic ease of mind that comes with being more conveniently connected to the places we want to be and the people we want to see.
Together, with the help of numerous industry professionals, we can remain connected. Without hesitation, I am thankful. Thankful, likely, for an improved transportation framework across the state of Nebraska. Thankful, most definitely, for the simple pleasure of knowing the surfaces under my tires will get me not just from point A to point B, but trustingly to my friends and family.