Today as states await action on a jobs bill, the list of 'ready-to-go' state infrastructure projects has surpassed the 9,800 mark. These projects, valued at more than $79 billion, will give state departments of transportation the resources necessary to put hundreds of thousands of people back to work, on projects that will improve travel and boost the economy.
In 2009, the transportation sector received just 6 percent of economic recovery funds, yet spending on state highway, bridge, transit, port, rail, and aviation projects has accounted so far for more than 24 percent of the jobs created. According to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, at least 250,000 direct, on-projects jobs, as well as hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs, were the result of 7,900 highway and transit projects that have broken ground across the country.
"Since we first released our survey back in December 2009, states have identified 300 additional 'ready-to-go' projects that can be approved for funding within 120 days," said John Horsley, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). "States continue to turn recovery dollars into real jobs and paychecks."
In December, AASHTO officials were joined by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN), and House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) at a Capitol Hill news conference releasing the original state project survey.
Since then, the House of Representatives has approved the Jobs for Main Street Act of 2010, which would provide $37 billion for transportation projects – $27.5 billion for highway infrastructure projects, and $8.4 billion for public transportation. Based upon the record demonstrated under the Recovery Act, such funding could potentially create or support 1.1 million jobs.
"This survey illustrates the growing need for a significant investment in transportation infrastructure projects," Horsley said. "The benefits are guaranteed and long lasting. Instead of the unemployment line, we'll give hundreds of thousands of Americans the lifeline they need to stay in their homes, pay taxes, and rebuild our economy."
You can find the updated survey online at http://downloads.transportation.org/Ready-to-Go.pdf.