AASHTO’s Tymon Talks Infrastructure on C-Spaneditor@aashto.org November 5, 2021 0 COMMENTS
Jim Tymon (seen above) – executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials – stressed the critical importance of passing long-term surface transportation reauthorization during a television interview with C-Span’s Washington Journal on November 2.
“States and localities have stepped up and increased funding for transportation infrastructure over the last several years, but the federal government has not,” he explained.
“Funding from the federal government for infrastructure remained consistent over the last 15 to 20 years only adjusted for inflation,” Tymon noted. “What Congress is considering now with its infrastructure bill would be the first time in the last 20 or so years that we might see a significant increase in investment from the federal government for transportation infrastructure.”
Tymon said that what is frustrating about short-term federal extensions of surface transportation funding is that it does not allow state departments of transportation to plan for large projects.
“If they know they are only going to get 30 or 40 days of funding through a short-term extension, it is hard to go out there and commit to a project that will take two or three years to build,” he explained. “That is why it is so important for Congress to get a long-term infrastructure bill passed that provides states and localities with five to six years of funding predictability. This way, state DOTs can take on the large transportation projects the American people want us to take on.”
That’s why passage of the $1.2 trillion the “Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act” or IIJA is so critical to the long-term economic needs of the country, Tymon stressed.
“Hopefully it will allow us improve the state of good repair for our nation’s infrastructure and create new jobs,” he said. “It is important, given where we are at with the U.S. economy, for us to invest in our nation’s infrastructure and then have something for it where we are done.”