survey of state transportation representatives by The American Association
of State Highway and Transportation Officials estimated a short-term
extension of federal highway and transit programs, rather than enactment
of a six-year bill, would mean $2.1 billion in project delays and
the loss of more than 90,000 jobs.
current federal legislation, the Transportation Equity Act for the
21st Century (TEA-21) expires Sept. 30, 2003. Revenue provisions
related to the program could force a shutdown of highway and transit
programs unless Congress acts, AASHTO concluded.
surveyed the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico
in August to determine the results from a short-term extension,
rather than a full-term six-year reauthorization.
said a short-term extension would:
state budget problems, cause $2.1 billion in project delays, add
project costs and cause the loss of 90,000 jobs.
- Reduce work
for consulting engineersas the project pipeline contracts. Design,
planning and environmental activities will be postponed and contracts
put on hold. Engineering, planning and environmental consulting
firms will face cutbacks.
jobs for construction contractors and workers. As the project
pipeline shrinks, contractors will be forced to scale back their
operations, including the number of construction workers hired.
- Create a
falloff in construction equipment sales and leases. Facing
the uncertainty of a short-term extension, contractors will be
less willing to purchase new equipment or enter into equipment
- Shelve long-term,
multiyear projects. The interruption in guaranteed long-term cash
flow in federal assistance could adversely affect the many states
that utilize innovative financing techniques, such as grant anticipation
note borrowing, Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle financing instruments
and advance construction.
- Delay transit
projects and force service cuts. The public, especially rural
communities, and the elderly will feel the impact.
reported they have planned their programs anticipating funding at
the Fiscal Year 2003 level. While 12 states say such a freeze would
have minimal impact, the majority say a reauthorization delay will
come at the cost of project delays and lost jobs.
ensure that construction projects continue without interruption
to funding, the AASHTO Board of Directors Sept. 7 urged that Congress
enact "a short-term, temporary six-month extension of TEA-21
that ensures that highway, highway safety, motor carrier and transit
programs do not shut down after Sept. 30, when TEA-21 expires."
It also urges that Congress promptly pass well-funded six-year legislation
reauthorizing highway, transit, highway safety and related programs.
Executive Director John Horsley said, "Faced with a possible
shutdown of the highway and transit programs, states are calling
for immediate action on a short-term fix. But the cost of any delay
comes high in terms of jobs and increased costs. We urge Congress
to continue to press for passage of a six-year bill as soon as possible."
has recommended that the federal highway program be funded at $245
billion as a minimum, and transit programs at $55 billion as a minimum
over six years.