Washington – Steve Demetriou, Chair and CEO of Jacobs, today testified on behalf of Business Roundtable in a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on “Economic Benefits of Highway Infrastructure Investment and Accelerated Project Delivery.” Demetriou reinforced the urgent need to modernize and expand U.S. transportation infrastructure to support economic growth and opportunity in America.
“For decades, America set the global standard when it came to transformative infrastructure,” Demetriou said in his testimony. “While the benefits are tangible, our national commitment to investing in infrastructure has diminished. And as a business leader, it concerns me that the U.S. spends a smaller share of GDP on infrastructure than all but two G7 countries.”
On the economic benefits of infrastructure investment, Demetriou highlighted several key findings from a new Business Roundtable study, including:
“Every additional $1 invested in infrastructure returns roughly $3.70 in additional economic growth over 20 years – representing an extraordinary return on investment ...
“Investing in infrastructure will create 1.1 million new jobs over the next decade and boost wages over the long term. The average American household will gain $1,400 in disposable income every year for an increase of $28,300 over 20 years.”
Providing policy recommendations to improve America’s infrastructure for the long term, Demetriou noted:
“[I]t is so important to increase investment in federal trust funds—especially the Highway Trust Fund where additional revenue is needed just to keep the fund solvent at current baseline spending levels excluding critical future needs ...
“In addition to required investment and the benefits it brings, we must streamline the permitting process … A great recent example of the positive results from successfully streamlining the process is the I-25 Gap project in Colorado, which connects Denver and Colorado Springs – the state’s two largest employment centers. The project used permitting reforms included in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, among others, to achieve an unprecedented delivery schedule: completing the long-range planning process through NEPA to the start of construction in less than 2 years.”
To read Demetriou’s complete testimony, which contains additional data and information on the benefits of infrastructure investment, please click here.