America Celebrates 2012 National Transportation Week, ARTBA Releases Transportation Fast Facts

Few people fully grasp the size and scope of America’s transportation infrastructure or the economic impact of the U.S. transportation construction industry.  The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) is setting out to change that during 2012 National Transportation Week, held May 13-19.

ARTBA, which is celebrating its 110th Anniversary this year, released the following “fast facts” about the nation’s transportation infrastructure contained in a landmark economic profile authored by the association’s chief economist, Dr. Alison Premo Black.

Did you know…

Economic Impacts 

  • Annual Output Value—The annual value of transportation construction in the U.S. surpassed $120 billion in 2010. To put this in context, it exceeds the output value of the following U.S. industry sectors: auto repair & maintenance ($116.8 billion); advertising ($106.9 billion); farming ($97.5 billion); motion pictures ($82.7 billion); aircraft manufacturing ($82.4 billion); and coal mining ($29.8 billion), to name a few.
  • Annual Contribution to U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP)—As the money invested in transportation construction industry employment and purchases moves through the economy, it generates over $380 billion in total annual economic activity for the nation—nearly three percent of the U.S. GDP.
  • Creating & Sustaining Jobs—Transportation construction in the U.S. supports the equivalent 3.4 million full-time jobs.  This includes 1,685,000 direct jobs in transportation construction and related activities and 1,698,000 jobs induced, or sustained, by transportation construction industry employee, firm and agency spending throughout the economy.
  • Dependent Employment—Nearly 80 million American jobs in just tourism, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, agriculture and forestry, general construction, mining, retailing and wholesaling alone are dependent on the work done by the U.S. transportation construction industry.  These dependent industries provide a total payroll in excess of $2.8 trillion and their employees contribute more than $233 billion annually in state and federal payroll taxes.

A Dynamic National Transportation Network

ARTBA members have built, designed and continue to manage an intermodal infrastructure network that includes:

  • 4,048,525 million center‐line miles of public roadways and bridges, including 46,934 miles of Interstate highway;
  • 603,250 bridges;
  • 171,500 miles of track operated by freight railroads;
  • More than 13,700 civil and joint‐use airports;
  • 12,000 miles of inland and inter‐coastal commercial waterways; and
  • 8,100 miles of subway and urban rail commuter track.

Providing Access to Jobs, Shopping, Recreation & Family Activities

The U.S. transportation infrastructure network provides all Americans with unprecedented access and mobility. Each year, the nation’s roads and highways handle more than five trillion highway passenger miles of travel.  Light, heavy and commuter rail systems facilitate over 9.9 billion unlinked passenger trips annually.

Accommodating Business Shipments

The U.S. transportation infrastructure network makes possible the shipment each year of over 16.4 million tons of goods and materials between American companies, or companies and their customers. This freight has a value of $14.4 trillion. Over 77 percent of this value is shipped via trucks.

                Learn more at

The first National Transportation Week (NTW) was observed in March 1953 to draw public attention to the importance and benefits of transportation.

ARTBA, which is the transportation construction industry’s consensus voice in Washington, D.C., was created in 1902 by Michigan public official Horatio S. Earle to advocate for a federally-funded “Capital Connecting Government Highway System.”  This road network, Earle said, would connect “every state capital with every other state capital with the United States’ capital—Washington.”  The “Capital Connecting Government Highway System” Earle envisioned is today’s Interstate Highway System, approved by Congress in 1956—and arguably one of the greatest accomplishments ever achieved by a national association.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.