The Contractors Association of West Virginia (CAWV) March 3 released a new report showing that an additional $500 million state investment in transportation annually would generate nearly 10,000 new jobs and support a billion dollars in economic activity.
ARTBA’s Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black, who authored the study, appeared at a news conference in Charleston, where CAWV Executive Director Mike Clowser announced the key findings.
The increased employment would come at a much-needed time for W.Va. Construction employment in the state has not yet recovered from the impact of the recession. In November 2014, employment in the construction sector was down 23 percent from November 2007. Between 2013 and 2014 alone, construction employment fell 11.3 percent.
Clowser noted that surrounding states Md., Ohio, Pa., and Va., have recently passed laws increasing their investments in highways. “We feel it’s is time to do the same in West Virginia,” he said.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, 28 percent of the state’s roadway miles need major repairs or replacement, and more than 3,536 bridges are rated “structurally deficient” or “functionally obsolete.” In addition, the value of truck freight shipments is expected to almost double by 2040, with a significant impact on congestion across the state’s road and bridge network.
“The study confirms what most residents in the state already know,” Black said. “West Virginia is in urgent need to invest in its highway and bridges system.”
ARTBA’s economics team has prepared similar customized economic impact reports for its chapters in Tenn., N.Y., Pa., N.J., Miss., and Va. To learn more about a report for your state, contact ARTBA’s Lital Shair at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.289.4434.