Melissa George Bowman
Director, Media & Public Relations
Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce
Office: 334-230-8300 ● Cell: 334-207-3197
Feb. 15, 2017
Montgomery Chamber stands with elected officials and state and local leaders in calling for improved infrastructure
National report presented today at Chamber shows ties between economic growth and condition of transportation system
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Today the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a news conference to raise awareness of the need for infrastructure improvements in the Montgomery area and statewide. At the conference, Washington, D.C. based national transportation research organization TRIP presented findings from its report Alabama Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility.
“As a driving force for economic development in the River Region, we felt it was important to bring attention to this matter,” said Montgomery Chamber Board Chairman David B. Reed. “Because a well-maintained infrastructure system is vital to economic growth, we stand ready to work with our elected officials and business community to improve our transportation system.”
TRIP Director of Policy and Research Rocky Moretti began the news conference by providing an overview of the report, which finds that deficient and congested roads and bridges statewide cost motorists $4.2 billion annually. Locally that amounts to $1,296 per driver in the Montgomery area in the form of extra vehicle operating costs, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor.
“If everybody had $1,300 to spend other than sitting in their car that’s a lot of revenue that would come back to the locals and to the state,” said Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange. “We don’t have at the state level enough revenue to do anything but maintain our infrastructure. We’ve not had the capacity to add. This would be a great opportunity with additional revenues to improve not only the state interstate system but to also improve local roads that connect our neighborhoods and businesses.”
Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton N. Dean Sr. joined Strange in emphasizing the importance of infrastructure to economic development and reaffirmed the City and County’s partnership and their commitment to working with the state and federal government.
“We have not seen a change in our infrastructure for 30 or 40 years,” Dean said. “With big companies coming to town like Hyundai and Hyundai Heavy and all the jobs we’ve brought that use large trucks, it’s changed the dynamics of what’s going on here in Montgomery, Alabama. We need all the help we can get. We want to partner with organizations focused on infrastructure and any form of government that can help us get our transportation system where it needs to be for the 21st century.”
Business Council of Alabama President and CEO William Canary also addressed the elected officials, business leaders and Chamber representatives in attendance.
“Our roads are our arteries of commerce, and if Alabama expects to remain competitive with our neighboring states, we must invest responsibly in our state and local infrastructure,” Canary said. “President Trump has made a bold commitment to improving our nation’s infrastructure, and Alabama must have the resources to take advantage of this plan or our competitors will.”
To learn more about the TRIP report visit www.tripnet.org.
Committed to exceptional service, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce works to improve the economic well-being of the business community and enhance the quality of life of the area through the creation and preservation of jobs.