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Stimulus Package to Take a Bit Longer; Highway Builders Initiate Outreach

January 13, 2009

Congressional Democrats are projecting that a federal economic stimulus package most likely will not arrive on President-elect Obama’s desk until mid-February, rather than upon his inauguration as they had suggested originally.

The overall package is now expected to be in the range of $675 billion to $775 billion. Although there have been no details regarding the amount of a transportation project component, there are tens of billions of dollars worth of unfunded, “shovel-ready” highway projects nationally that could put people to work by spring.

In order to stress the importance of including highway projects in the federal legislation, the Transportation Construction Industries coalition is in the process of contacting members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation. The coalition wishes to assure them that the transportation construction industry has the capacity to put additional resources to work quickly, which would maximize the economic impact of the stimulus effort.

As a highway users’ coalition, PHIA will augment the industry’s efforts by providing information and education. PHIA’s primary message is that a sound highway system is essential in order to achieve our economic growth potential and improve our quality of life.

“The stimulus package presents an opportunity to begin addressing some of Pennsylvania’s most pressing highway needs,” said PHIA President Ronald Drnevich. “At the same time, it’s important to keep in mind that the stimulus package is a one-time opportunity, and our transportation infrastructure needs will continue beyond that. It behooves us to continue to focus on the question of what we need our highway system to be 10 years from now.”

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