New APWA Report Shows Benefit of Investment in Transportation Infrastructure

May 26, 2023
The APWA’s report, conducted in conjunction with the National Journal, produced findings about the potential for investment in transportation and water infrastructure.

A recent report from the American Public Works Association (APWA) found that American communities are benefitting with funding in water, surface transportation and emergency management.

The APWA’s report, conducted in conjunction with the National Journal, produced findings about the potential for investment in transportation and water infrastructure.

The report found every $1 invested in transportation returns $5 in economic benefits, with every $1 billion supporting the creation of 50,000 jobs. That $1 billion also more than doubles business sales and creates a 20 percent increase in GDP. A similarly sized investment in operations creates an increase in business sales and a near double increase in GDP.

Due to an $81 billion funding gap in water infrastructure, 2.1 trillion gallons of drinking water worth $7.6 billion is lost due to aging infrastructure according to the report. This will create lower production volumes that result in the loss of 636,000 jobs by 2039.

The report also found that 85 percent more, or $46 billion a year, is spent on disaster relief than a preemptive $7 billion to ensure existing infrastructure is ready to sustain future hazards.

“This important report shows just how essential the public works profession is in every community throughout the U.S.,” said APWA CEO Scott D. Grayson, CAE. “For surface transportation, water and emergency management, we now know the level of financial benefit of every dollar invested, and we know what the benefit could be if budgets at all levels of government came closer to actual need.

“Asset management technology is giving communities better insight about the health of their infrastructure, which is allowing them to schedule and fund maintenance projects and extend the life of roads, sewer systems and bridges. However, AM is also providing a clearer picture of what needs to be replaced now.”

“Public works teams keep the water flowing but in some communities duct tape and bailing wire no longer work, as this research shows,” APWA President Keith Pugh, PE, PWLF, said.

Both APWA leaders recognize the strides taken with the introduction of the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) to improving transportation and water infrastructure.

“IIJA is the official acknowledgment our infrastructure needs more and better help,” Pugh said. “APWA, as we always have, are working with local, state and federal partners to ensure the historic act’s success.”

According to the APWA’s report, if the U.S.’s investment in water infrastructure increased to $109 billion a year until 2043 the resulting reliability in water services would prevent $7.7 billion in consumer medical costs, $2.6 trillion from service disruptions, and $1.4 trillion in lost income. 800,000 new jobs would also be created.

APWA leaders said it is their policy to bring more public works professionals to the federal table in designing emergency management programs.


Source: American Public Works Association 

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