Governor’s Weekly Message Transcript: Transportation Investments Bring Jobs to Delaware
Delaware job growth is outpacing the nation and our unemployment rate has fallen, yet many hardworking Delawareans are still looking for work. One part of the economy hit especially hard by the recession was construction, and we have an opportunity to give workers in that industry a chance to get back on the job. There are dozens of transportation projects throughout the state like the one happening on State Route 26, which was highlighted earlier this week at an event held here at the South Coastal Library. This project is addressing regular traffic problems, poorly designed intersections, and drainage problems. Led by a Delaware-based contractor, this effort will put people to work widening the roadway to improve travel for everyone who passes along this stretch from Ocean View to Clarksville. Opportunities to do similar work are possible, if we invest in our shrinking Transportation Trust Fund. It’s why I’ve proposed a transportation investment plan that will generate $500 million over the next five years, strengthening our infrastructure and creating more than 6,000 jobs. With this plan, we’d borrow responsibly for half the cost. But to ensure we don’t put the whole burden on future generations, the plan also includes a 10 cent increase in our motor fuel tax, which hasn’t gone up in 20 years despite rising construction costs. These investments reach beyond the construction industry. They support jobs at companies that make the materials and machines used to build and repair our transportation network, and they help make Delaware a more attractive place for companies looking to start or expand their business. By investing in improvements to our transportation network, we’ll put thousands of people to work, make our roads safer, and keep Delaware moving forward.