Because I am the sales manager for a manufacturing firm that owes the majority of its annual revenues to DOT work, I subscribe to several newsletters to help stay abreast of developments across the country that could affect our market. I am amazed at how quickly infrastructure is becoming a major talking point, not only the offices of government officials, but in coffee shops as well. For those of you that don’t subscribe to newsletters about roads and bridges (99.999%???), here is what’s going on in your country this week.
Civil engineers spent the last year studying roads, bridges, and airports in Florida. The final grade: C. What this means is that needs are being met, but the future will undoubtedly require upgrades. Committee chairperson Tonya Mellen asserted that, “Between our expected population increase, rising sea levels and hurricane risks, our infrastructure needs to grow and adapt to be ready for the future.” According to the report, the state’s airports will surpass operational capacity in the next 15 years. For comparison purposes, the nation’s infrastructure as a whole earned a D+.
A major rehabilitation project on the I-480 Bridge in Valley View, OH is starting two years earlier than originally planned. The bridge carries roughly 180,000 vehicles across the Cuyahoga River every day. Built in 1977, the heavily used bridge needs some TLC in the form of a deck replacement and some other miscellaneous repairs. Despite the fact that some states (we’re talking to you, New Jersey) struggle to fund transportation projects, Ohio has been able to keep pace with needed repairs and improvements. The $281 million project is scheduled to be completed in Fall, 2023.
Pennsylvania is spending about $1 billion a year more on road and bridge work than it did just a couple of years ago. Pennsylvania is scheduled to award contracts for roughly 820 highway and bridge projects to the tune of about $2.4 billion. About $1 billion of that comes from the Act 89 Funding Plan, signed into law in 2013 to help fund transportation projects. According to PennDOT spokeswoman Erin Waters-Trasatt, by committing to these projects Pennsylvania is no longer the number 1 ranked state in the nation for structurally deficient bridges.
Now go enjoy the day.