The comprehensive study, released last week by AASHTO in conjunction with state transportation departments (DOTs) in Nevada, Michigan, Georgia and Rhode Island, finds that one year after passage of ARRA, state DOTs have set an amazing record of speed and efficiency, putting 77 percent of the $34.3 billion provided for highways and transit out to bid on 12,250 transportation projects.
The 9,240 projects under construction total $20.6 billion. One hundred-fifty of these projects are profiled on the companion Web site at: recovery.transportation.org. As a result of the Recovery Act, 280,000 direct, on-project jobs have been created or sustained across the country.
“That’s a lot of projects and paychecks,” said Larry “Butch” Brown, AASHTO President and Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Transportation.
“U.S. unemployment in the construction trades has surpassed 20 percent. Recovery dollars are helping to rescue thousands of workers like Frank Anzenberger, a 30-year construction veteran who’d been unemployed for more than six months before he was called back to work on a recovery project in Michigan.”
With bids running as low as 30 percent below estimates, the study finds that states stretched federal dollars even further, creating more jobs and more miles of improvements. California, Georgia, and Texas awarded more than 90 percent of their highway contracts below original cost estimates.
“Projects and Paychecks proves just how big a role stimulus is playing to keep Americans working,” said John Horsley, AASHTO executive director. “In January, state DOTs identified more than 9,800 additional “ready-to-go” projects worth $79 billion. Congress needs to move quickly to pass another Jobs Bill. This study proves transportation projects can deliver hundreds of thousands of jobs for America,” Horsley said.