First-of-its-Kind Dashboard Highlights Benefits of Federal Highway Investment in Alabama

WASHINGTON, July 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Alabama leveraged $731.4 million in federal funds to advance $902.6 million in highway improvements during fiscal…

WASHINGTON, July 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Alabama leveraged $731.4 million in federal funds to advance $902.6 million in highway improvements during fiscal year (FY) 2018, according to an interactive tool that for the first time provides the public and elected officials a clear look at how and where the state invests its transportation tax dollars.

Obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA) «Highway Dashboard: A 50-State Guide to the Benefits of Federal Investment» displays information on more than 367 Alabama projects that moved forward in FY 2018. Based on Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) data, the dashboard provides the same information for all states.

The top five projects receiving federal funding in the state during 2018 included:

  • I-65 ADD LANES FROM SR-3 (US-31) TO CR-52 (8-LN)(PHASE 2)
  • PAVEMENT REHABILITATION ON I-459 FROM SOUTH OF CR-52 AT MCCALLA TO NORTH OF SR-150
  • SR-8 (US-80) REPLACE BRG BIN 002783 AND RELIEF BRG BINS 002781 002782, OVER LITTLE UCHEE CREEK (SUFF=42.8, STAT=FO, 2001 HBRRP LIST)
  • SR-158 EXTENSION FROM EAST OF LOTT ROAD (SR-217) TO SCHILLINGER ROAD GRADE, DRAIN, BASE, PAVE AND BRIDGE
  • I-85 PAVEMENT PRESERVATION/PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE FROM SR-8 (US-80, EAST BYPASS EXIT 6) TO SR-8 (US-80, MITYLENE EXIT 11)

«This dashboard helps shift the conversation from how much each state gets to specific outcomes and benefits,» ARTBA President Dave Bauer says.  «Such transparency and accountability will help residents better understand the value they are getting from infrastructure investments.» 

The current federal FAST Act surface transportation law expires September 30.  As Congress continues working on a new long-term bill, the dashboard will help members of Congress and their staffs to learn more about projects and how federal funds are being utilized in their respective states, ARTBA says.

«The dashboard spotlights the important role the federal highway program plays in our state,» says Tom Layfield, executive director of the Alabama Road Builders Association. (ARBA). «Passage of a long-term bill by Congress with increased investment is the right medicine to significantly boost our economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.»

In FY 2018, 74 percent of projects costs were for reconstruction or repair work on existing highways, according to the ARTBA analysis.  Added capacity (13 percent of funds), planning, design and construction engineering (4 percent) and right of way purchases (2 percent), are among 12 ways the state spent its transportation dollars.

Compiled by ARTBA Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black, the ARTBA Highway Dashboard features the top projects dating back to 1950. This data is submitted by states as part of FHWA’s Fiscal Management Information System (FMIS).

The Alabama Road Builders Association, founded in 1947 and based in Montgomery, is the only Alabama association that exclusively represents the collective interests of all sectors of Alabama’s transportation construction Industry. Alabama’s transportation construction industry generates more than $1 billion in economic activity annually and provides employment for more than 36,598 Alabamians.

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) brings together all facets of the transportation construction industry to responsibly advocate for infrastructure investment and policy that meet the nation’s need for safe and efficient travel.  ARTBA also offers value-added programs and services providing its members with a competitive edge.

Learn more: artbahighwaydashboard.org.

 

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SOURCE American Road & Transportation Builders Association