By Loren Faulkner | September 28, 2010
Problems left and right face California's transportation and infrastructure funding. As AGC of California expressed it in a recent press release:
- Asphalt has more than doubled since the beginning of 2008, with increases of as much as 40 percent announced in many regions since July 1; on-highway diesel fuel costs have risen 68 percent in the past 12 months; reinforcing steel (rebar) has roughly doubled since the beginning of 2008; and the price of construction plastics, such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe and plastic fencing and moisture barriers, have risen 10–25 percent since early 2008.
- The problem could be made worse next year when the U.S. DOT may be forced to slash highway funds to states by a minimum of 34 percent because revenue into the federal Highway Trust Fund is not adequate to sustain the program.
- "In California that translates into a $929 million cut in funding" said Thomas Holsman, CEO, AGC of California Inc. "Couple that with the news from our DOT that 6,977 bridges in California are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and it is obvious that we have reached a crisis stage. We cannot wait any longer to tackle our growing infrastructure needs. Add to this issue the Infrastructure bond package passed by California voters in 2006 and the legislature's predisposition to use those funds to help balance the state's budget."
- In 2007, the U.S. Congress provided an additional one-time boost of $1 billion for states to address bridge needs, which translated into about $100 million for California. Estimates show that the problems are much more far-reaching — with many states facing budgetary crises and implementing cutbacks in transportation investment — and that the entire national system still needs an infusion of $65 billion to repair or replace the significant number of bridges that are fifty years or older.
- For every $1 billion spent on construction for major facilities it creates 21,000 to 26,000 jobs per year.