Jim Tymon, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, recently spoke with the Americans for Transportation Mobility Coalition’s latest podcast to provide an “overarching perspective” on the critical need for transportation infrastructure investment in the United States.
“I think that this still is a bipartisan issue. Transportation is an area that Democrats and Republicans in both the House and the Senate can rally around,” Tymon explained during his interview on the 16-minute program.
“As we come up to the elections here in November, there’s not a whole lot that senators and congressmen can go back to their districts and talk about [regarding] pieces of legislation that they’ve been able to get done,” he said. “Outside of what’s been done on COVID-19 relief, there hasn’t been a lot of signature pieces of legislation that either side can go out there and champion. This is a great opportunity for them to show that they can work together to get something done on transportation.”
Tymon also reiterated on the podcast the need for an emergency funding “backstop” for state departments of transportation as they grapple with the fallout from severe decreases in state transportation revenues.
Kentucky, for instance, cancelled transportation construction project “lettings” planned for May and June due to a statewide drop in motor fuel tax and other transportation-related revenues as statewide travel declined due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.
“That was about $83 million of projects that they didn’t move forward with … and they’ve also suspended work on about 100 different projects totaling $150 million across the state,” Tymon stressed.