When it comes to driving in Colorado, there’s nothing that can beat the smooth feeling of hitting brand new pavement.

Well, maybe driving through the mountains, but let’s say driving through the mountains and hitting a brand new swathe of pavement.
And while that is certainly a great feeling, there’s so much more that nice new road is providing for the community and local economy. More than just making for a pleasant drive, some might say the smell of new pavement is really the smell of a working economy.
Here’s how fixing roads does so much more than make for a nice trip in the car:

A foundation of the workforce

Highways and road systems are one of the most critical components of our state’s and country’s infrastructure. And that infrastructure is also critical to our economy.
According to a report from Brookings, infrastructure jobs account for about 11 percent of the workforce, and that is likely to grow. Particularly as we consider how to address skilled worker shortages, jobs in road repair and construction offer a relatively low barrier to entry with living wages and the potential to grow in the coming decades. And, according to the report, workers in infrastructure fields are paid better than the national average.
As CNBC notes, “Decades of under-funding has left U.S. highways, bridges, airports, power stations, dams and waste treatment plants in need of a major overhaul.” The same underfunding holds true in Colorado and Denver south, where gas taxes marked for transportation costs don’t account for inflation. According to the Proposition 110 (also known as Let’s Go Colorado) website, this lack of funding, coupled with rapid growth in regions like Denver south, has left the state spending about half per motorist as it did 25 years ago.
Already a backbone of the workforce and economy, road repair and construction also hold the potential to create more living-wage jobs in an area of growing demand at a time when it’s desperately needed.

Getting from point A to point B

Sometimes it can be a challenge to simply get to work. And it definitely doesn’t help when you’re swerving around potholes or having to constantly retool your route just to drive on decent roads.
Whether by car, bus, train, motorcycle, bike, scooter, rollerblades or anything else on wheels, broken roads can derail work commutes, leading to loss productivity, a frustrated and defeated workforce, or missed appointments and deadlines.
Keeping up on repairing roads when they need it, not after the fact when it’s already been causing headaches for motorists, can help to alleviate traffic congestion, ease commute times and generally make life easier for anyone who needs to go anywhere — which last time we checked is just about everybody.

A little more money in your pocket

According to AAA, the average repair cost to drivers who hit a pothole is about $300 dollars. That adds up to over $3 billion annually in the U.S. — and that’s just for potholes.
Keeping up on road maintenance can have a direct impact on your wallet, saving you some cashola for some of the fine Denver south craft beer or to put towards a home renovation project.
Collectively it means pumping all of that money that would have gone towards vehicle repair back into the local economy, creating more opportunities for everyone to benefit.
Statewide, Proposition 110 is aimed at bringing transportation infrastructure up to speed to meet the challenges and demands of 2018, as well as the coming years and decades. For just a half a cent on the dollar in gas taxes, they believe that we can get our road and transportation system back on track.
And we’ve just learned, that could do a lot more than just make for a nice drive.

Related posts:

· Let’s Go Colorado/Proposition 110 Q&A
· The technology that’s transforming transportation