State transportation departments could award and begin more than 3,000 highway projects totaling approximately $18 billion within 30-90 days from enactment of federal economic stimulus legislation, according to a survey by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
AASHTO Executive Director John Horsley said, “Clearly states have the ability to make a major contribution to getting our economy back on track. Transportation spending creates good jobs, places money directly into the economy, and makes critical and lasting improvements in the network needed to support economic activity. It’s a winner from every angle.”
The survey, conducted the last week of January at the request of Congressional committees who are at work on the stimulus effort, drew responses from 47 of AASHTO’s members, including the District of Columbia.
“The survey asked states to identify projects that could be underway within 30-90 days. Some analysts erroneously claim that states can’t act that fast. But this response demonstrates that there is a store of projects that states have had to keep on the shelf for lack of resources. Funding for these projects would be a real boost for the economy,” Horsley added.
Analysts estimate that for every $1 billion invested in transportation projects, 42,000 jobs are created.
In addition to the highway projects, 16 states also reported ready-to-go transit, rail and waterways projects identified by asterisk. Those responses indicate some 66 transit, 21 rail and one in waterway projects that could be launched if funds were available.