Construction industry firms, hit by the recession, are searching feverishly for more details on which infrastructure projects might be funded in the eagerly expected economic stimulus package. Highways have been a particularly hot topic, partly because President-elect Barack Obama has mentioned that sector prominently and partly because the segment is so large.
Interest in the stimulus is “huge,” says Brian Deery, senior director of the Associated General Contractors’ highway and transportation division. “I’m getting calls all the time,” from firms and AGC chapters. It’s no wonder why interest is keen: Deery says, “A lot of [companies] just don’t have any work or their backlog is dissipating very quickly.”
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Dec. 5 release of a list of 5,148 highway and bridge projects totaling $64.3 billion has triggered a hunt for more project specifics. ENR, which has seen a flurry of requests, is responding. We are posting on www.enr.com lists of some states’ projects plus brief stories on those lists. The chart highlights available details on ready-to-go road work in several states.
The $64 billion may be more a measure of state and industry project capacity than the amount that will end up in the coming bill. At this point, says Jay Hansen, National Asphalt Pavement Association vice president for government affairs, there are “a lot of questions and not a whole lot of answers,” as well as many groups with “wish lists.”
Hansen says NAPA is hearing “from multiple sources” that those drafting the stimulus are looking at about $18 billion for highways. But he also says that appropriations committees “are writing the bill,” and they haven’t provided a number.
Wish List: Transportation Projects Biddable Within 180 Days, by State
Click below on each highlighted state to view stories/projects
Source: State Departments of Transportation.
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials