Simonson noted that the survey found that only 17 percent of transportation contractors will enter 2010 with a work volume backlog at least as large, by value, as they had entering 2009. Almost one in five report they will enter 2010 with at least 50 percent less backlog than last year. An additional 33 percent report the value of their work backlog will be 25 to 50 percent less going into 2010.
Contractors depend on maintaining a healthy backlog of future work contracts to ensure the cash flow necessary to maintain or add to their permanent work force. Temporary workers are hired as work is conducted in the field seasonally.
"Our members have capacity; they're ready to meet the nation's needs but the state DOTs can't offer projects for which there is no stable source or commitment of funding by the federal government," says Joy Wilson, president and chief executive officer of the TCC's National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association. "The repair or replacement of America's crumbling infrastructure requires vision, long-term commitment for multi-year projects that enhance safety and U.S. competitiveness; it is overdue but when enacted will create American jobs not just in the industries who build roads, but in the industries and farms and businesses who depend on surface transportation to get their goods to market."
TCC members say the survey results underscore the need for quick passage of a robust, six-year surface transportation legislation that provides the level of investment for highway, bridge transit and safety projects that multiple, independent, bipartisan commissions have said the nation needs.
The TCC will be running print and internet ads targeting the Obama Administration and Congress and driving home the point that passage of the reauthorization bill is key to creating new American jobs.
The TCC includes 28 national associations and labor unions whose members have a direct market interest in transportation programs.