Q1 Infrastructure Update: Why Infrastructure is Critical to You

If You Can’t Move It, You Can’t Make It
Why Sufficient Infrastructure is Critical to Your Business – 2014 Bridge to a Stronger Future
If our transportation system can’t move our goods and services, it can’t support our economy. Put simply, transportation is business. A robust transportation infrastructure network consisting of highways, railways, airports and seaports, as well as alternative transportation solutions will increase our market opportunities, create jobs and spur economic performance. It’s hard to argue against the critical importance of transportation to not only business, but to your everyday quality of life and safety of your family. However, North Carolina still faces significant challenges to maintain and improve statewide transportation, especially as the growing population places increased demand on the transportation system.The North Carolina Chamber developed the 2014 Bridge to a Stronger Future document which outlines specific priorities and opportunities to diversify funding options to maintain and develop infrastructure projects that will provide the highest return on invested capital. The NC Chamber understands the importance of creating comprehensive, long-term solutions to meet the increasing transportation and infrastructure needs of the state, as well as resolving current funding challenges. You can make a difference – join the NC Chamber in making this a key legislative priority in 2014! Learn more at the NC Chamber’s Transportation and Infrastructure Summit on March 26 in the RTP.

N.C. Transportation Secretary Tony Tata: We Must Leverage Infrastructure to Create Jobs

N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata sits down with NC Chamber Vice President of Government Affairs Gary Salamido to discuss the NCDOT’s top four priorities and what they are doing to leverage infrastructure to create jobs!One specific initiative Sec. Tata discusses is the implementation of the new Strategic Mobility Formula (passed by House Bill 817 in 2013). The Strategic Mobility Formula creates greater transparency in the way transportation funding is distributed and prioritized throughout the state. This is expected to allow for 32% more transportation projects and create 200,000 North Carolina jobs over the next 10 years! Being able to deploy funds at a faster rate toward infrastructure projects, based on a set of fact-based criteria, creates greater economic opportunities beyond the project at hand, ultimately growing North Carolina’s economic pie.

The Great Debate: Long-Term Funding Challenges
While North Carolina is taking many positive steps to strengthen the statewide transportation network through initiatives like the Strategic Mobility Fund, we still have long-term funding challenges, as Sec. Tata discussed. Did you know North Carolina has $65 billion in transportation needs and modernization? The current revenue stream is a true ‘user fee’ concept – users of the system pay for use of the system through gas taxes and registration fees. Forecasts show that by 2018, gas tax revenues will peak and start declining.  Over the next 10 years, the network will see a $2 billion decline in necessary and vital transportation revenues. With long-term underinvestment, our state’s infrastructure system will be increasingly unsafe, unreliable, and inefficient—threatening jobs, productivity and competitiveness.

Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber

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