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N LABOR DAY, PRESIDENT
Obama called for Congress to act
soon on a front-loaded, six-year
reauthorization of the federal
highway and transit improvement
programs. He repeated his message dur-
ing a Columbus Day news conference in
the White House Rose Garden. Obama’s
insistence is understandable. A recent
study underscores how critical the pro-
grams are to the U.S. economy.
The report, from the ARTBA
(American Road and Transport Builders
Association) Transportation Development
Foundation, finds money invested this
year in transportation construction indus-
try employment and purchases will gener-
ate more than $380 billion in U.S. eco-
nomic activity. That’s nearly three percent
of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product
(GDP), and it’s larger than the annual
GDP of 160 nations ranked by the
International Monetary Fund, including
oil-rich Saudi Arabia ($370 billion) and
Kuwait ($111 billion).
BIGGER THAN AUTO REPAIR
The study, “The U.S. Transportation
Construction Industry Profile,” shows the
annual value of domestic transportation
construction will surpass $120 billion in
2010. This ranks it larger than industry
sectors like auto repair and maintenance
($116.8 billion), farming ($97.5 billion)
and coal mining ($29.8 billion), to name
a few.
Transportation construction also sup-
ports 3.4 millionAmerican jobs – 1.7 mil-
lion directly involved in construction and
related activities and 1.7 million jobs sus-
tained by transportation construction
O
ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF TRANSPORTATION
INVESTMENTS ARE PROFOUND. THAT’S WHY
PASSAGE OF THE NEW HIGHWAY AND TRANSIT
BILL IS URGENT. THAT’S THE MESSAGE
GLEANED FROM A RECENTLY RELEASED
TRANSPORTATION CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
PROFILE DEVELOPED BY THE ARTBA
TRANSPORTATION DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION.
CONGRESS NEEDS TO GET ON THE BUS.
By Alison Premo Black
Road To
Economic Health
FOCUS • TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENTS
4 INDUSTRY TODAY