Transit Bill an Elixir for Ailing U.S. Economy, ARTBA Chairman Tells Senate Committee
WASHINGTON—A long-term federal transportation infrastructure investment bill will help drive the nation’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Chairman Steve McGough said in June 4 testimony before the Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee.
McGough, the president and chief financial officer of HCSS, a Houston-based national construction software company, said a recent forecast from the Congressional Budget Office that it could take a decade for the U.S. economy to recover from the coronavirus was sobering.
McGough added one-time infusions of federal transportation investment and shovel-ready projects were not the solutions to America’s unprecedented economic challenges.
“While transportation infrastructure improvements have positive job and salary impacts, the real value comes from putting in place long-term assets that increase the efficiency and productivity for the entire economy,” McGough said.
McGough voiced the association’s support for the EPW Committee’s July 2019 unanimously approved America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), a proposal to increase highway investment by 27 percent over the next five years. ATIA also includes positive reforms to expedite the delivery of needed infrastructure improvements and maximize the impacts of federal resources.
During his testimony, the ARTBA chairman announced the creation of a new “ARTBA Highway Dashboard: A 50-State Guide to the Benefits of Federal Investment,” an interactive tool that highlights the program’s outcomes at the national and state levels. Using Federal Highway Administration data, it features each state’s top-10 federal-aid projects, the total number of projects and the type of improvements advanced in a given year.
ARTBA says the dashboard will increase transparency and better highlight what could be achieved with a robust, multi-year surface transportation reauthorization bill.
McGough concluded: “We urge the other Senate committees with respective jurisdiction over their portions of the transportation programs to act quickly in order to facilitate final passage of America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act.”
Established in 1902 and with more than 8,000 public and private sector members, the Washington, D.C.-based ARTBA advocates for strong investment in transportation infrastructure to meet the public and business community demand for safe and efficient travel.