Calif. road law to rev up construction industry, state economy, ARTBA says
Don McLoud | March 1, 2018

SB1 will fix over 17,000 lane miles of pavement across the next decade, and that includes re-striping roadways from 4- to 6-inch stripes to improve safety and visibility, Caltrans says.

California’s $54 billion plan to repair and build roads and bridges will boost the state’s economy, including the construction sector, by $183 billion over the next decade, a new report says.

Of that amount, the state’s construction industry would see an additional output of $34 billion and the creation or support of 160,000 jobs, according to the report by Alison Premo Black, chief economist for the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).

The transportation investment law – often referred to by its bill number, “SB1” – took effect last April and has been the subject of controversy recently, as a group seeks to repeal the law’s gas-tax increase. Reform California is trying to gather more than 580,000 petition signatures by May to put the repeal question on the November ballot. The Coalition to Protect Local Transportation Improvements has formed to defend SB1.

Black’s report says the economic activity and user benefits from the law will permeate all sectors of the economy and create 682,029 jobs over the next decade.

For the construction industry, the increased investment will lead to more work to build and maintain highways, bridges and transit systems. The wages paid to workers will then spill over into the larger economy as those workers spend their pay. And the improvements to the state’s transportation systems will provide future economic boosts.

“SB1 is not only providing economic benefits for the California economy over the next decade,” Black said in a news release, “but will also provide infrastructure improvements that will lay the foundation for economic growth for the next generation.”

In creating the report, Black sought to put a monetary value on such benefits from the transportation investment as increased safety, lower operating costs, reduced congestion, modernized equipment and increased mobility. She estimated that savings at $38.2 billion over 10 years.

As for direct and indirect economic effects, SB1 will increase sales and output by California businesses by $111.8 billion, the report says. It will also provide $32.6 billion in additional earnings from the 682,029 jobs Black estimates will be created during the decade.

The study was commissioned by the California Alliance for Jobs, California Transit Association, and Transportation California.

To see the full report, click here.


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