AASHTO Journal, 27 March 2015
The Associated General Contractors of America, trade association of the construction industry and a major backer of reports on state transportation infrastructure needs, has launched a social media and digital messaging campaign aimed at boosting federal investment in road improvements.
The AGC said its effort “is designed to encourage Congress and the Obama administration to figure out a way to fund needed highway and transit repairs before current legislation, and the federal funding that comes with it, expires on May 31st.”
Calling it the “DriveBetterRoads” campaign, the construction group has set up a dedicated website with that name, and urges followers to send their lawmakers messages calling for action to improve roads through Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag phrase #DriveBetterRoads.
That site includes a popular, 21-minute news/entertainment video about infrastructure that recently aired on the TV program “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and has gone viral on YouTube.
A “take action” section of the website helps viewers find members of Congress from their states, and provides a text example they can copy and paste into their own social media messages to the lawmakers. It reads: “Safe, well-kept roads are important. Please work with your colleagues and find the money necessary to improve our roads.”
And the AGC said it hopes people will “share pictures of bad traffic, poor road conditions and aging bridges” on Twitter, using its campaign-branding hashtag.
The AGC is also launching targeted digital advertisements focused on commuters in Dallas and Houston area.
Dale Stubblefield, vice president of Arlington, Texas-based Austin Bridge & Road and an AGC member, said as the association was launching the effort that “we all have a stake in making sure Washington figures out a way to continue investing in good roads and safe bridges. Our goal is clear – we want everyone who uses roads and bridges to understand they can drive better roads as long as they make their voice heard in Washington.”