A long-term federal transportation infrastructure investment bill will help drive the nation’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Chairman Steve McGough said in his recent testimony before the Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee.
McGough said a recent forecast from the Congressional Budget Office that it could take a decade for the U.S. economy to recover from the coronavirus was sobering. He added that one-time infusions of federal transportation investment and shovel-ready projects were not the solutions to America’s unprecedented economic challenges.
“While transportation infrastructure improvements have positive job and salary impacts, the real value comes from putting in place long-term assets that increase the efficiency and productivity for the entire economy,” McGough said in his testimony.
McGough voiced the association’s support for the EPW Committee’s July 2019 unanimously approved America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), a proposal to increase highway investment by 27% over the next five years. ATIA also includes positive reforms to expedite the delivery of needed infrastructure improvements and maximize the impacts of federal resources.
During his testimony, the ARTBA chairman announced the creation of a new ARTBA Highway Dashboard: A 50-State Guide to the Benefits of Federal Investment, an interactive tool that highlights the program’s outcomes at the national and state levels. Using Federal Highway Administration data, it features each state’s top 10 federal-aid projects, the total number of projects, and the type of improvements advanced in a given year.
Last week, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure released the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST in America) Act. The bill authorizes $494 billion over five years to address some of the nation’s most urgent transportation infrastructure needs.