As states continue to wait for action on a jobs bill, the list of ‘ready-to-go’ state infrastructure projects has surpassed the 9,800 mark, based on a December 2009 survey by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).
These projects, valued at more than $79 billion, project that state departments of transportation will then have 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% of economic recovery funds, yet spending on state highway, bridge, transit, port, rail, and aviation projects has accounted, so far, for more than 24% 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, AASHTO executive director. “States continue to turn recovery dollars into real jobs and paychecks.”
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 on 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.”
See the updated survey at: downloads.transportation.org/Ready-to-Go.pdf.