NAPA holds Congress accountable for reauthorization inaction
As state and local governments slash highway spending, and the private markets remain soft, the transportation construction industry continues to lose jobs, NAPA says.
Current construction employment numbers mark three years of monthly declines, and brings the total decline in construction jobs since the peak in January 2007 to 2,226,000.
“Stimulus funding will begin to run out in the fourth quarter of 2010, casting an air of uncertainty over the 2011 highway market,” Acott said. “Transportation improvement projects are complex and may take several years to plan and construct. That’s why both the companies in our industry and the state Departments of Transportation need a multi-year highway bill. Planning is impossible in a climate of uncertainty. This does a disservice to the American people, who rely on the nation’s roads and highways for everything from emergency services to routine activities such as going to work, school, and worship.”
Since SAFETEA-LU expired, Congress has relied on short-term extensions to fund transportation construction, the latest of which will expire in December 2010. Additionally, over the past two years, the Highway Trust Fund has had to “borrow” $36 billion from general fund revenues, undermining the user-fee principle and the public’s trust. Without additional revenues, the state DOTs face a cut 30 to 50 percent in federal support as early as 2012.