Traffic congestion and the delays it causes are costing the nation’s construction firms an estimated $23 billion each year according to a new analysis released this week by the Associated General Contractors of America, with no relief in sight. Congress is late in passing six-year federal transportation legislation.
“Traffic tie-ups nationwide are sapping productivity, delaying construction projects and raising costs for construction firms of all types,” said Stephen Sandherr, AGC’s CEO. Sandherr said the new analysis was based on responses from nearly 1,200 construction firms surveyed in late April and May. Sandherr said 93 percent of firms lose at least one day of productivity per worker per year because of traffic congestion, totaling 3.7 million days of lost productivity annually.
Sandherr said the construction industry, and the rest of the economy, is unlikely to get relief from traffic until Congress acts on long-delayed legislation that sets national surface transportation policy and funding levels over the next six years.
“As larger projects get put on the back burner, traffic stagnates, construction firms have less work and equipment plants see orders drop,” Sandherr said. “It is hard to think of a better way to undermine the stimulus than failing to pass a surface transportation bill.”