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Interstate Highway System concrete birthday cake given to Federal Highway Administration

The General Contractors Association presented the Federal Highway

The General Contractors Association presented the Federal Highway Administration with a cracked concrete birthday cake on June 27, 2016, as the Interstate Highway System turns 60 years old. Photo Credit: Vincent Barone

This cake recipe calls for two parts flour, one part milk and a little more than two decades of neglect.

To celebrate the 60th birthday of the Interstate Highway System, advocates presented the Federal Highway Administration with a cracked, concrete birthday “cake,” topped with six road flares, to call Congress to act on increasing infrastructure funding.

“The Interstate Highway System is the most important link that we have unifying not only the states but regions within the state,” said Denise Richardson, executive director of the General Contractors Association, which delivered the painted and carved foam cake. “And it has been allowed to deteriorate because, since 1993, Congress has not raised the gas tax.”

Richardson was joined by AAA and several other trade associations for the birthday rally outside of the administration’s office downtown—all requesting the New York representatives in the House and Senate to increase the federal gas tax, currently at 18.4 cents per gallon.

“Most of our 56 million members recognize the importance of our system—the interstates, the awful roads and bridges—we can’t stick our heads in the sand and avoid the problem, as they are in Washington,” said John Corlett, AAA New York’s director of government relations.

The GCA noted that 25 percent of all of New York’s interstate highway bridges were built between 1965 and 1969 and are approaching their 50-year life expectancy. But because politicians on both sides of the aisle have been hesitant to restructure the gas tax, more and more roads are falling into disrepair. AAA members have reported 200,000 flat tire calls in the state each year, mostly from drivers hitting potholes, according to Corlett.

“It’s a serious national safety and investment issue,” Richardson said.


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