Transportation Investment on the Anniversary of ARRA

Feb 17, 2010

by James Sneeringer

Today is the anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and the Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) Coalition is highlighting the successes of transportation and infrastructure investment. Executive Director Janet Kavinoky had this to say:

A year after its passage, ARRA funding for highways and public transportation created, supported, and saved transportation jobs and is leaving a legacy of economy-enhancing investments. Those jobs are at risk if Congress does not act by February 28th to extend SAFETEA-LU at FY 2009 levels along with providing resources for the Highway Trust Fund, and then turn to passing a long-term surface transportation authorization bill.

According to the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, as of December 31, 2009, ARRA investments resulted in more than 280,000 direct, on-project jobs & 890,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs.

Among the 9,241 highway and transit projects underway are improvements needed to meet the demands of a diverse economy and a growing population, and that contribute to economic growth and global competitiveness:

  • San Bernardino, California is using $128 million from ARRA to complete bridge replacement and road widening that will help revitalize one of America's most economically distressed communities and ease congestion along a route expected to grow from an estimated 83,000 drivers daily to 130,000 in the next 20 years.
  • In Southeast Ohio, $138 million from ARRA is busting a time- and-money draining truck bottleneck by accelerating a project on US 33, which currently carries more than 1,700 trucks per day between Columbus, Ohio and Charleston, West Virginia, making it one of the busiest truck routes in Ohio. Without ARRA, the project's second and third phases wouldn't have started until 2012 and 2015.
  • The Transit Authority of River City (TARC), Kentucky will get people to work reliably by using $17.7 million in ARRA funds to replace ten 40-foot, low-floor buses that are four years beyond their useful life. In addition, TARC will build a new maintenance and training facility at Union Station in Louisville and thoroughly renovate the Broadway Division bus storage building.

Kavinoky summed up:

Now it is time to build on those successes and make sure that jobs don't disappear. First, Congress must act expeditiously to restore certainty to existing federal transportation programs. By February 28th, Congress should extend SAFETEA-LU at 2009 levels through the end of calendar year 2010 and provide the associated resources to ensure Highway Trust Fund Solvency. Then, both houses must make passing a long-term highway and transit authorization bill a priority for the 2010 legislative agenda.

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