Stockpiling a vaccine

News AASHTO Journal October 10, 2001
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In a survey conducted by the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO), 42 state departments of

In a survey conducted by the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO), 42 state departments of transportation responding have identified more than 1,800 projects worth more than $13 billion should federal funding be available through an economic stimulus package.


Congress and the Bush Administration are currently negotiating the size and components of such a boost as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks. Regarding the size of the highways portion of the stimulus package, discussions have ranged as high as $10 billion. However, AASHTO has consistently focused on a $5 billion sum because it would most closely equate to the guaranteed obligations under the Transportation Act for the 21st Century.


The funding level utilizes existing receipts in the Highway Trust Fund but still leaves sufficient resources for use in upcoming surface transportation program reauthorization proposals. The AASHTO survey found state departments of transportation can provide an immediate stimulus to the economy, with all the projects identified able to be obligated for construction within three months.


Every $1 billion of increased investment in highway infrastructure generates 42,000 jobs, according to the Federal Highway Administration.


"As Congress and the administration consider ways to jump-start the economy, the states stand ready to direct available funding from an economic stimulus package to highway, bridge, transit and rail improvements," AASHTO Executive Director John Horsley said. "This funding would result in immediate short-term benefits through the creation of thousands of jobs, along with the long-term economic benefits by improving the nation's transportation infrastructure."


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