Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe made a push during a recent Senate hearing for more highway improvements across the nation, explaining they were needed to help cities and towns improve their economies. And he cited examples in Oklahoma.
It came during a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing where witnesses testified about the need for highway infrastructure and accelerated project delivery.
“You hear the word investments all the time, every big spender around, every big spending program, but you never hear the word spending, you never hear the word deficit, you hear just investments,” the Senator told one witness. “A lot of times,it’w a phony characterization, however in transportation it’s not. It’s real.”
He cited two Oklahoma communities that benefited directly from better highways.
“One Durant and the other Inola—are directly the beneficiaries as a result of what happened in their highway programs. In those two communities, the companies are investing $250 million in one and $360 million in the other, creating 300 new jobs in each location,” said Inhofe. “The investment the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the federal government has made to improve these highways results in additional property tax, additional sales tax and additional income tax revenue.”
Witnesses included Patrick McKenna, Vice President of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials; Steven Demetriou, Member of the Business Roundtable Infrastructure Committee; and Michael Replogle, Deputy Commissioner for Policy at the New York City Department of Transportation.
Click here to view his comments and questions during the hearing.