Urge Congress to help stem WSDOT’s $100M/month revenue loss

Urge Congress to help stem WSDOT’s $100M/month revenue loss.

Editor’s note:  Click here to easily send a message to members of the Washington State Congressional delegation and President Trump via the Hardhats for Highways website. Congress must invest in our transportation infrastructure; any delay will put construction jobs in danger and hinder economic recovery efforts.

WSDOT is expecting to lose more than a third of its average monthly state revenue during the pandemic and is calling on Congress to pass legislation providing federal assistance.

“Given the uncertainty of the duration of the pandemic and the lag in revenue reporting there are no exact figures right now, but current traffic and ridership numbers suggest that the state could expect a loss of revenue of as much as $100 million per month, approximately 38% of our average monthly state revenue collections,” Secretary Millar said in his letter to Congress.  “Federal assistance is urgently needed in order to prevent major disruptions to our ability to operate and maintain our transportation system during this unprecedented emergency.  An infusion of federal funds will minimize and prevent cancellations and delays of projects as well as job losses both in the state DOT workforce and the private sector with which we contract. “

AGC of Washington echoed Secretary Millar’s comments in its own communication with the state delegation.  “This matter is of particular concern to the construction industry because an ever-increasing share of contractors are reporting cancellations of upcoming projects and shortages of equipment or materials, forcing nearly 40 percent of firms to lay off employees, according to a survey by AGC of America,” said AGCW’s chief lobbyist Jerry VanderWood.  “The construction industry has historically been vital in helping economy recover from downturns, and we believe it will be true again with regard to COVID-related job losses. However, the positive impact the construction industry will have in restoring normalcy to the economy will be muted by the rapid drain in resources that WSDOT is experiencing.  We urge Congress to provide the requested revenue backstop for WSDOT and other state DOTs.” AGC, AASHTO and other organizations had urged Congress to include $50 billion in federal funding for state departments of transportation in the next Covid-19 response package, the HEROES Act.  Unfortunately, the House-passed bill included only $15 billion and Senate leaders have so far refused to take up the measure. AGCW and its allies will continue to try to boost DOT funding in the HEROES Act and urge its progression through the legislative process, while also considering other avenues to pass infrastructure funding. AGCW members are urged to lend their voice to this effort by sending a message to Congress.

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