Executive Vice President
“The Arkansas economy is going strong, and our construction-industry unemployment rate is almost historically low,” says Dean. “One reason for this is that the Arkansas economy is very diversified and not dependent on a few massive industries.”
Current projects testify to that diversity, he says. The estimated $1-billion I-30 Crossing is an ongoing multiphase project through downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock and includes reconstructing the Arkansas River Bridge. Meanwhile, Amazon has completed two fulfillment centers at the Port of Little Rock and North Little Rock. And the Trex Co. will begin construction in early 2022 on a $400-plus-million production site in Little Rock.
“There’s so much more economic activity than there was five years ago, and that’s great for our industry,” he says. “But that’s putting further strain on labor resources and materials availability, and now we are also facing cost increases from inflation and concern about possible vaccine mandates.”
The multibillion-dollar investment from the infrastructure act “will have a significant impact on all sectors of our economy,” Dean says.