Local infrastructure projects poised to produce new jobs
A recent survey by the American Public Works Association (APWA) identified more than 3,600 ready-to-go local infrastructure projects that, if funded by an economic recovery package under consideration, would provide a stimulus for the ailing economy. Totaling more than $15 billion, the shovel-ready projects could begin within 90 days and would generate an estimated 532,764 jobs.
“Local communities are suffering, Americans are without jobs and our infrastructure is in a critical state of disrepair,” APWA President Noel Thompson asserted. “It’s clear that a commitment to funding our desperately needed transportation, water, sewer and other projects will put more people to work and help sustain long-term economic activity.”
Providing a sampling of the needs facing local communities, the survey identified a range of projects ready to begin except for lack of necessary funding. Projects include road widening, paving, traffic light and signal repair work, highway intersection improvements, storm drainpipe realignments, pumping station improvements, sewer-line replacements, treatment plant upgrades, water-valve replacement, pedestrian underpass safety improvements and basic sidewalk repair.
“Local communities have had to pick and choose which projects to complete instead of doing all of the needed work,” Thompson said. “There are projects that are ready and waiting; let’s invest in local projects so we can get the work done and strengthen the economy.”
Brian Riedl, a senior federal budget analyst at the Heritage Foundation, sees a much bigger federal budget in 2009. Riedl offered this advice for administrators at all levels of government: “I would expect a lot of money to be coming out of Congress and federal agencies over the next year, so get your projects in line.”