The Columbus Dispatch
June 27, 2015
DAVID BAUMANN – Middleburg Heights
As a businessman and a 53-year resident of Ohio, I know all too well how reliant my business and most businesses are on an integrated, well-funded transportation infrastructure. And to say our transportation system needs to be updated would be an understatement.
Inaction by our leaders to fix the problems is not acceptable. I manage a large tractor-trailer fleet for UPS that employs more than 1,000 tractor-trailer drivers in Ohio. Each day, tens of thousands of UPS customers and local businesses depend on receiving and sending goods efficiently to maintain their livelihoods.
As a major user of our nation’s roads, UPS is familiar with the challenges facing America’s infrastructure, including congestion, bottlenecks and disrepair of roads and bridges. For instance, a five-minute delay for each UPS vehicle, every day, costs UPS $105 million annually in increased operating costs.
The hidden costs of congestion hurt UPS, our customers, employees and our community.
All the major interstates in our state, including the Ohio Turnpike, are in need of lane expansion, especially in areas where the roads are only two lanes in each direction. Also, major road arteries and bridges are in disrepair, causing additional vehicle maintenance and constant congestion due to the patchwork of maintenance projects. This is highlighted on the route our drivers take from Columbus to Toledo each day along I-75.
Our transportation infrastructure affects everyone, not just UPS. Local businesses throughout Ohio and across the country depend on safe and well-maintained roads, bridges, airports, rails and ports. The time is now for Congress to increase funding for surface transportation. It is the lifeblood of our communities and the strength of our economy.