The federal government has ranked Pennsylvania the third state overall for the speed by which its stimulus dollars are applied to transportation projects.
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesman Rich Kirkpatrick says the high ranking was earned partly because the state chose its stimulus-funded projects wisely.
“One of the requirements of the dollars was that the projects had to be so-called shovel-ready,” says Kirkpatrick. “So it meant that if you had a project that involved a lot of environmental work, or still needed a lot of right-of-way acquisition, or a lot of hurdles that had to be met, that if you tried to take that route, you were going to bog down.”
Pennsylvania used over $1 billion in transportation stimulus funds to employ 5,000 to 6,000 people each month last summer and autumn. Kirkpatrick says as temperatures rise, PennDOT hopes to resume jobs created by the recovery act.
The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee ranked the efficacy of Pennsylvania’s stimulus funds in terms of percentage of dollars out to bid, under contract, and underway.
Maine and Wyoming finished first and second, while Virginia and Hawaii received the poorest marks.