American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
wants Congress to quickly draft a full-scale reauthorization of
highway and transit programs, saying further delay is sure to postpone
badly needed projects and cause the loss of tens of thousands of
DOT Executive Director John Njord, AASHTO president, made his remarks
at a news briefing Oct. 1.
issue is the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, which
officially expired Sept. 30 and prompted a temporary five-month
extension to keep projects in the states from being cut off.
we appreciate the fact that Congress did not allow the federal transportation
programs to come to a standstill, we must still make it clear that
every day of delay in enacting a well-funded, multi-year reauthorization
bill comes with costs," Njord said.
costs are project delays that increase price tags on infrastructure,
lost jobs and a further burden on states already reeling under budget
crises that have cut transportation investments in the states by
$4.3 billion in FY 2004."
recent AASHTO survey of its state DOT membership showed that most
responding states expected to delay at least some projects in the
absence of a multiyear federal reauthorization. Although only 18
of the more than 40 states responding to the survey quantified the
potential costs, those 18 states pegged the project cost of delay
at $2.1 billion, with resulting losses of 90,000 jobs.