Gov. Markell pushes for transportation funding in weekly message
In the wake of House passage of a bill this week raising a series of DMV fees to fund transportation infrastructure projects,
Gov. Jack Markell (D) is showing his support for the move in his weekly message.
The legislation - now headed to the state Senate - would bring in about $24 million for road work – and Markell says that investment would pay dividends.
“The benefits will be immediate. Proposals that have already been made would create thousands of construction jobs over the next few years while promoting the type of long-term economic activity that we’ve seen from major construction projects like the new Route 1 interchange near Christiana Mall,” Markell said.
Markell also points out the cost of repair roads and bridges will only rise over time while conditions continue worsen – adding the time to act on funding is now.
Full text of Gov. Markell's weekly message:
Delaware’s economy has turned a corner. Job growth is double that of our neighbors. And our state’s progress has ranked us as one of the top economies for the future. But we have more work to do to realize the potential of our state and all of our people. That means making necessary investments in our economy and quality of life.
One of the most important of these is our transportation infrastructure. Yet the Transportation Trust Fund faces a $780 million shortfall over the next six years, putting vital road safety and job-creating economic development projects on hold.
Evidence of poor conditions and lack of needed construction activity is all around us. Recently a chunk of concrete fell from the I-95 bridge over the Brandywine River. There’s backlogged economic development projects like a road realignment that would allow expansion of the Sussex County Airport so larger planes can use the facility. Pavement is in need of resurfacing on rural and urban roads.
I continue to work with legislators on a funding solution and, as I said in my State of the State address, I am open to considering all ideas to fund our infrastructure responsibly. The benefits will be immediate. Proposals that have already been made would create thousands of construction jobs over the next few years, while promoting the type of long-term economic activity that we’ve seen from major construction projects, like the new Route 1 interchange near the Christiana Mall. Repairs will only get more expensive and the condition of the roads and bridges we all travel will only worsen the longer we wait.
Along with business and labor leaders across the state, I believe the time to act is now. We’ll create jobs in the short-term and a brighter future for present and future generations. And that will keep Delaware moving forward.