Washington, D.C. - The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held one of the first hearings that will help draft an economic stimulus package that will be likely considered following the election, and is anticipated to include funding for a number of road projects.
“Michigan’s economy and the country’s economy need a boost in these difficult times. By investing in our infrastructure we will put people to work immediately and build the roads and bridges needed for businesses and their employees to utilize in the future,” Congresswoman Candice Miller said. “Being part of this important committee will help me advocate for Michigan’s fair share of federal dollars in the next economic stimulus package.”
The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee could be considering up to $30 billion in transportation and water related projects across the country. Priority will be given to projects that can be started within days of the passage of a second stimulus act.
Former Michigan Gov. John Engler, who is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), will be among 18 witnesses who will testify before the committee to speak about the importance of this package.
Engler, will make the case for increased public investment in our nation's deteriorating transportation infrastructure. The NAM supports a targeted approach to transportation infrastructure in a stimulus bill that will create jobs, provide a solid return on investment, and provide lasting economic benefits to American business and industry.
This hearing comes at a time when Michigan is suffering from an 8.7 percent unemployment rate, which is one of the highest in the country. Michiganians are also suffering from a large number of roads in the state, which are rated in poor condition.
MITA recently published a report “Worst Roads in Michigan.” The findings utilized 2007 data from the Michigan Asset Management Council PASER Road Evaluation Program, which evaluated all roads on the federal aid system in 83 counties and almost 1,800 municipalities across Michigan.
Some of these roads could see their status change after this hearing and the passage of any stimulus package. The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials estimate that Michigan has 43 projects at a cost of $257 million that could be started shortly after the passage of the second stimulus act.
MITA will continue to monitor this package and will keep you informed.