Oberstar Eyes Transportation for Job Creation
Washington DC – At 8:30 AM CDT Congressman Jim Oberstar began a hearing of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The purpose of the hearing is to help lay the groundwork for a national economic recovery and job creation package. Oberstar says a draft of the bill will be available when Congress reconvenes on November 17th.
Today’s hearing is focusing on creating jobs through investing in public works projects. The American Association of State Transportation Officials (AASHTO) conducted a survey of state departments of transportation last summer and found that Minnesota has $218 million in outstanding road and bridge projects that are designed and would ready to for work to begin if funding was available. According to figures from the Federal Highway Administration each $1 million invested in road and bridge infrastructure projects creates 34.8 direct and indirect jobs in the state’s economy. Funding the projects that are ready to go in Minnesota right now could create up to 7,586 jobs.
Investing in transportation infrastructure will also make the overall economy more productive. According to the Texas Transportation Institute’s 2007 Urban Mobility Study, traffic congestion costs the nation’s economy $78 billion annually in wasted fuel and lost wages, Minnesota’s share of that figure is $1.1 billion.
(From Office of Jim Oberstar)