FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 5, 2017) – Kentucky’s business and transportation leaders today announced an effort to prevent the serious decline of Kentucky’s infrastructure.
The Kentucky Infrastructure Coalition (KIC) includes more than 30 organizations that represent manufacturers, farmers, economic development leaders, engineers, local leaders and more than 40,000 transportation workers who understand that safe, reliable, efficient transportation is essential to Kentucky’s economy.
KIC has been formed to advocate for, and provide solutions to, the commonwealth’s transportation needs. Juva Barber, executive director of Kentuckians for Better Transportation, will serve as the coalition chairwoman.
“Kentucky must invest more in infrastructure to attract and expand a 21st century economy and jobs,” Barber said. “Funding solutions must be dynamic and meet the evolving needs of a changing economy. We support long-term, sustainable funding that provides adequate revenues for all modes of transportation so our state can maintain the infrastructure we have today and build what we need for our future.”
There are a few key factors contributing to the lack of sufficient investment in transportation:
• A national decline in the average wholesale gas prices resulted in a $200 million recurring annual loss for Kentucky. The commonwealth also will soon lose $110 million in credits, a portion of which is used for transit for matching funds for federal dollars.
• There are currently more than 1,100 significant transportation projects that need to be completed, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. These projects – both statewide and regional – exceed the $2.6 billion in current funds by several billion dollars.
• More than $150 million is diverted from the road fund for other agencies each year.
Effective, dependable infrastructure is essential to the foundation of Kentucky’s economy:
• More than $500 billion in freight flows through Kentucky annually.
• Transportation brings in tourists and visitors who contribute almost $14.5 billion to our economy each year.
• Highway accessibility is the most important factor in site selection for an employer, according to Area Development Magazine’s 2016 survey of corporate executives.
• Drivers in Kentucky already are paying the price. Driving on Kentucky’s diminishing transportation system costs motorists a total of $4 billion every year in additional vehicle operating costs, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes, according to transportation research organization TRIP. That total is 2.5 times greater than what Kentucky spends in the road fund each year.
For more information on KIC, including a list of partners and additional information on transportation needs and importance, visit http://www.kickstartky.com/.