Transportation Projects to Grow Virginia's Economy
– Chmura Economics and Analytics Report Highlights Impact of Governor's Transportation Plan –
RICHMOND – Virginia's economy would expand by $13.1 billion and support 105,642 additional jobs over six years if the Governor's transportation plan passed Feb. 27 by the General Assembly is fully implemented, according to research conducted by Chmura Economics and Analytics, a national consulting firm based in Richmond.
Chmura's research calculated the impact of the proposed 900 projects to the economy of the Commonwealth, including construction spending, ripple effects and job creation. Of the $13.1 billion in total impact, $7.2 billion is direct construction spending while $5.9 billion represents the ripple effects. Benefits generated by the projects would exceed costs and would have an average economic impact of $2.2 billion and support 17,607 jobs annually through 2017.
Additionally, the result of the transportation investment would generate $119.8 million in tax revenue for the state, and $10.4 million of benefits for local governments over that same period. The report goes on to say the long-term benefits of transportation investments include time savings for businesses, vehicle maintenance savings and accident reduction.
"Our transportation plan is aimed at putting Virginians back to work improving our transportation network," said Governor Bob McDonnell. "This analysis by a nationally recognized economic firm reinforces that our program-the largest influx of transportation funding in a generation-will not only address the needs of the aging highway system upon which we all depend, but it will also provide a needed injection of funding into our economy to spur recovery from the difficult recession of the past several years."
"The time is now for these transportation investments," said Sean T. Connaughton, secretary of transportation. "Construction bids are coming in well below estimates, and interest rates are very low. Responsibly advancing bond sales and accelerating projects can bring tomorrow's transportation improvements to citizens today."
The 900 projects would be funded under the multi-faceted approach that creates a Virginia Transportation Infrastructure Bank, accelerates the sale of $3 billion in pre-approved state bonds, and issues $1 billion in federal Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles (GARVEE) Bonds to finance federal projects. The program also encourages private entities to enter into agreements to construct, improve, maintain and operate transportation facilities.
The 900 proposed projects in the program include bridge, tunnel and corridor improvements to interstates, highways and local roads throughout the Commonwealth in urban and rural areas.
The illustrative project list valued at $4.4 billion is available at http://www.virginiadot.org/news/resources/Statewide/sectran/Combined_Master_1-13-11_V10_SOT-No_Phase.pdf
The full report "Economic and Fiscal Impacts of the Construction Phase of Transportation funding in Virginia and its Regions" is available at http://www.virginiadot.org/news/resources/Statewide/sectran/Plan_VDOT_Executive_Summary.pdf
# # #