Whether we're talking about roadways, transitways, railways, runways, or taxiways, the news is out that the American people are getting more miles of transportation infrastructure for their dollar.
Sean Holstege and Ronald J. Hansen report in the Arizona Republic that bids for Arizona Department of Transportation highway projects covered by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) are 10 to 20 percent lower than expected. They also cite similar results from California's DOT.
Michael Cooper in the New York Times finds discounted bids being reported by Pennsylvania, Utah, and Louisiana.
Gary Richards in the Mercury News features several local transportation planners and administrators from California's Bay Area commenting on the surprisingly low bids received.
As I said in Arizona last week, "The bids are coming in lower than we would have imagined. It means our dollars will go further."
ARRA funds represent a significant infusion into local economies across the nation, and that means jobs. But that good news is made even better because those funds can now be used for even more projects, which means even more jobs. That is good value for the American people.
It's pretty clear why companies are bidding so low; there's been a historic decline in prices for materials and a shortage of jobs for construction workers. So, there's a huge appetite for these projects, and people are raring to go. We're already seeing new jobs being created and workers being hired for ARRA-funded transportation projects around the nation.
Companies want work; people want work; and this Administration wants to keep putting them to work.