After months of negotiation and back-and-forth between political parties, the United States Senate has passed a $1 trillion USD Infrastructure Bill. With the goal of rebuilding roads and bridges as well as preparing the US for changing climate challenges, this bill marks the largest federal investment into infrastructure projects in more than 10 years. This Bill also marks a major win for Joe Biden in his first year of Presidency.
So, what does this new Bill mean for the construction industry?
Get Ready for the Spotlight
Now that the Senate has voted and the Bill has passed, the spotlight will shift to the construction industry. After all, who will be the ones planning, organizing, building, testing and completing these projects? Engineers. Operators. Contractors. Project managers.
Construction companies that specialize in these types of construction projects need to get ready to step up to the plate.
Be Ready To Bid
The American Road & Transportation Builders Association found that there are over 230,000 bridges alone in the Unites States that need repairing. This represents over ⅓ of all bridges in the United States. Of those 230,000 bridges, 46,000 of them have been identified as “structurally deficient”.
The Infrastructure Report Card graded America’s roads as a D, stating that 43% of all public roadways are in “poor or mediocre condition”. On top of roads and bridges, there are many other types of infrastructure projects such as upgrading public transit, electric vehicles, updating drinking water infrastructure and green energy.
Project bids will be so important for this budget. $1 trillion USD is a lot of money but there’s a whole lot of work that needs to be done with it.
When it comes to bidding on these projects, contractors need to get smart with how they plan on using their money. Leaning on new tech such as BIM can help to reduce waste and improve efficiency. Equipment rental marketplaces can help contractors price our equipment rentals for specific locations and get as detailed as possible on rental prices. Do your due diligence to make the most of the money. Not only will that set you aside from other bidders and help you stand out, but it’ll set you up for success when you do win the bid.
Be Climate Conscious and Educated
There are two reasons that being a climate and environmental-conscious contractor will be needed for these projects. The first is because this bill is partly created to respond to the climate crisis. The second is because good media attention is good for governments - and can make you look really good, too.
Part of the reason that the US Senate passed this bill is to set America up for the changing climate of our planet. Harsher hurricane seasons, wildfires, droughts, snowstorms and other forms of extreme weather are becoming more common. Current infrastructure wasn’t made with these types of weather conditions in mind. When updates are happening over the next few years to roads and bridges, longevity and lasting impact needs to be top of mind. Come to the table with knowledge on how climate change is impacting construction practices and infrastructure. It will help set you apart from other contractors.
Go the extra mile and look at green building practices, eco-friendly building materials and electric construction equipment. The more conscious you can be of the environment, the better.
Another benefit to this is that these projects will be newsworthy for the next few years, if not the next few decades. This level of investment in US infrastructure will make headlines. The greener the construction can be, the more likely companies are to be a part of those stories. It’s great for businesses to get awareness and to bring positive attention to the projects.
Plus, it sets America up for greener choices which is always a good thing.
People Wanted! A Boom in Contractors
COVID-19 has changed the job market a lot. Stable, well-paying and reliable jobs are coveted more now than ever before. This type of investment in construction projects will increase the need for construction workers at a time when the industry is already short on employees. The difference now? The construction industry is more appealing than ever.
This is another reason why the focus on new technology, green building and lots of media attention will be a bonus for the industry. For too long, potential employees have looked at construction as being a “last resort” in employment. In truth, this industry is amazing to work in. It’s challenging, progressive, rewarding and has plenty of room for growth. This investment could very well help to turn the tides and draw people to construction more than ever before.
A Peek at the Future of the Industry
Infrastructure projects have been top of mind for a while. It’s not that surprising that it’s finally arrived. What is telling, however, is the focus on climate change and the advancement of our cities that is tied to this investment. It’s clearer now more than ever that the future of construction is tied to sustainable development, technology and quality building. Pay attention to what happens with these funds - whether you’re working in infrastructure or not. It could be telling for the future of the industry.
Preparing the United States for the Future
The infrastructure of the United States has been falling apart for years. It’s a well known fact that the country needed to reinvest in itself and update its roads, bridges, schools and public spaces. This investment is a sign that the US is accepting it’s need to prepare for the future. And now it’s the construction industry's job to make it happen.