Rusty Hubbard / Arkansas Department of Transportation

USA - New Year Raises Hopes for Infrastructure Spending

With hopes for a COVID-19 recovery in 2021, regional firms and engineers are eyeing opportunities for infrastructure to play a key role in restarting the economy.

But with state and local tax revenue taking a hit, projects may need to wait on funding to come through.

“The reality is, infrastructure spending for the next year for 2021 largely will depend on what types of stimulus packages do in fact come to fruition,” says Dennis Truax, 2021 president-elect of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

With fewer people traveling and commuting because of COVID-19, rail ridership has suffered, fuel consumption has fallen and the airline industry has been decimated.

“The transportation system, which is reliant on user fees, taxes and tolls, has been very badly hit,” Truax says. “And this is going to have a long-term impact on replacing, rebuilding and maintaining that infrastructure.”

That’s where a federal infrastructure stimulus could come in, and firms are making plans for what projects they could quickly set into motion. “As we get into infrastructure post pandemic, some sort of infrastructure package will be needed,” Truax says.

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