New Report from Washington Roundtable and The Boston Consulting Group: $7 Billion Investment in Washington Transportation System Would Yield $42 Billion in Economic Benefits; Support 184,000 jobs

SEATTLE--()--The Washington Roundtable and The Boston Consulting Group today released research assessing the economic impact of the components of transportation proposals that received the broadest support from policymakers in Washington state during the past two legislative sessions. The analysis assesses the economic impact of investment in preservation and maintenance as well as six major improvement projects in key economic corridors over 12 years.

Key findings: A $7 billion investment to preserve and maintain state road and bridge networks and improve key economic corridors would generate $42 billion in benefits and increase state general fund tax revenues by $2 billion over 30 years. It would support 184,000 jobs, save $600 million per year in business supply chain costs, support $2.5 billion in port expansion, and reduce road repair costs by $650 million per year. Alternatively, a lack of new investment will result in significant road deterioration, millions more hours of congestion and higher costs for drivers. The call to action is clear: Invest in the preservation and maintenance of Washington’s existing roads and bridges and make improvements in key economic corridors.

The investment would significantly improve the condition and use of the state’s road and bridge network. As compared to current investment levels, congestion will be reduced by four million hours per year, saving the average driver $85 annually. Additionally, the percentage of roads in poor condition will be reduced by 25 percent, saving the average driver $160 per year.

BCG also quantified the future condition of the state transportation network absent increased investment.

“The outlook isn’t good if Washington continues to invest in transportation at current levels. Sixty percent of state highway pavement will end up in ‘poor’ condition or worse. Forty percent of bridges will be functionally obsolete or structurally deficient. It will be painful for everyone in Washington,” said Joel Janda, partner and managing director for The Boston Consulting Group.

“Washington needs to act on transportation funding. The return on investment is overwhelmingly positive and the data paints a stark picture of what will happen without action. Transportation has to be a priority for the legislature in 2015,” said Steve Mullin, Washington Roundtable president.

Of the $7 billion in proposed new investments that have received the broadest legislative support, $1.25 billion has been targeted for preservation and maintenance. Absent new funding for preservation and maintenance, 60 percent of state highway pavement will be in “poor” condition or worse. An investment of $1.25 billion over 12 years would improve the trajectory for road quality, but 46 percent of state highway pavement would still be in “poor” condition or worse. To bring all state highway pavement up to “fair” condition or better, Washington must invest an additional $3.4 billion in preservation and maintenance over the next 12 years.

“Washington simply isn’t doing enough to take care of its existing roads and bridges. Washington needs to address preservation and maintenance. That must be a primary focus looking ahead to 2015,” Mullin said.

A summary of the research and an extended slide deck are available at

Washington Roundtable is a nonprofit public policy organization comprised on senior executives from major private sector employers throughout Washington state. Since 1983, the Roundtable has worked to create positive change on critical policy issues that foster economic growth, generation jobs and improve quality of life for Washingtonians.

The Boston Consulting Group is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. They partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises.


Washington Roundtable
Mark Funk, 206-755-2122

Release Summary

Washington Roundtable and The Boston Consulting Group release new data assessing economic impact of the components of transportation proposals that have received the broadest support in Washington.


Washington Roundtable
Mark Funk, 206-755-2122