PRESIDENT BIDEN’S INFRASTRUCTURE AND JOBS PLAN – A MAJOR BOON FOR THE CONNECTICUT CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY?
On March 31st, President Biden revealed the crowning centerpiece of his economic agenda, his American Jobs Plan. The plan is designed to create millions of good jobs, repair the country’s infrastructure, and position the country to out-compete its rivals.
At $2.3 trillion, Biden’s plan is the largest infrastructure investment in American history and is designed not just to fix the nations crumbling roads, bridges, railroads, airports, and transit systems, but will also be far more expansive including improvements to our drinking water systems and electric grid.
Find out more about what the American Jobs Plan includes and how this investment could impact the Connecticut construction industry.
President Biden’s American Jobs Plan
While Biden’s plan focuses on infrastructure, it is as much a job creation plan that expands to other sectors including developing the nation’s clean energy workforce, expanding manufacturing, and providing support for professional caregivers.
What does the Biden Infrastructure and Jobs Plan include?
The White House has revealed that the plan is divided across four main categories:
- Transportation and Infrastructure – $621 Billion
- Quality of Life at Home – $650 Billion
- Help for Caregivers – $400 Billion
- Research, Development, and Manufacturing – $480 Billion
All four categories will have a positive impact on contracting work throughout multiple economic sectors. However, as a Federal or State contractor, you might be wondering how the money will be spent in each category.
American Jobs Plan – Transportation Infrastructure Spending
Spending on transportation infrastructure under the bill is slated for approximately $621 Billion. The plan includes spending in multiple transportation sectors including in America’s roadways, railways, and bridges. Within this scope there is a focus on upgrading our infrastructure to shift away from fossil fuels to clean energy.
Below is a breakdown of how the $621 Billion slated for Transportation and Infrastructure is expected to be spent.
Transportation and Infrastructure Spending Details & Breakdown
- $174 Billion or 28% of the funds, would be earmarked for electric vehicles. That number includes 500,000 electric vehicle stations, upgrading to electric busing, and replacing the federal government’s diesel transit vehicles with electric units. For the average consumer, the bill also offers tax incentives and rebates for electric cars.
- $115 Billion or almost 19% of spending, would be designated for repairs to our most needy roadways and economically significant bridges. It will also repair the worst 10,000 smaller bridges. The plan would modernize 20,000 miles of highways, roads, and main streets.
- $85 Billion would go to modernizing our transit systems.
- $80 Billion would go directly to Amtrack for delayed projects and upgrades to existing routes and expansion.
- 50 Billion would be used on “Infrastructure resiliency” to withstand climate-related disasters.
- $25 Billion would go directly to much needed airport upgrades.
- $20 Billion would go to improve road safety.
- $20 Billion would be used to reconnect neighborhoods historically cut off by investment.
- $17 Billion would go to upgrading our inland waterways, coastal ports, land ports of entry, and ferries.
While transportation contractors are focused on the first category, the remaining three sectors, specifically, the “Quality of Life at Home,” will provide substantial funding for contracting work.
Quality of Life at Home – Spending and Highlights
- $213 Billion would be spent to build, preserve, and retrofit more than 2 million affordable homes and commercial buildings. This includes 500,000 homes for low and middle-income owners.
- $111 Billion to be used on clean drinking water projects. This includes replacing all lead water pipes and service lines in our water distribution networks.
- $100 Billion for public school work.
- $100 Billion for building high-speed broadband networks.
How will the Infrastructure funding be spent in Connecticut?
Perhaps no other state in the nation is in more dire need for a federal financial infusion to rehabilitate our aging infrastructure than Connecticut. Constructed almost 70 years ago, the I-95 corridor in southern Connecticut is one of the most congested roadways in the country. It has been a longtime goal of the state to modernize this roadway and decrease congestion.
Looking to Hartford, the I-84/I91 interchange faces similar congestion problems. For years, Amtrak has been looking to enhance service throughout the northeast, of which Connecticut contains some of their major arteries.
Looking to the Connecticut State Department of Transportation five-year infrastructure plan, many more projects are in the pipeline and ripe for funding. Additionally, Connecticut’s wastewater treatment plants and water delivery systems are ready for an upgrade.
Future of the American Jobs Plan in Connecticut
All of these Connecticut infrastructure upgrades and projects are a likely candidate for the American Jobs and Infrastructure Plan funding to be spent.
While the plan still must pass both houses of Congress, Connecticut is ready for the funding now. With concerns over inflation, divisions in congress, and questions over funding for the plan, it is too soon to say exactly how this plan will materialize or how much money will reach the project in Connecticut.
Potential Impact on the Connecticut Construction Industry
Despite the uncertainty associated with the Infrastructure Plan, one thing is for certain – the plan in any form will be a major boom to State and Federal Contractors in Connecticut. If you are an established Federal or State Contractor in Connecticut or even a smaller operation looking to expand your scope of work, the time to position your organization to bid on this work is NOW.
The Connecticut Construction Industry should get ready and prepare for a potential funding infusion before it happens. The bids for such projects will be extremely competitive, but those who position their organization will reap the rewards.
By Jonathan Krumeich, Garcia & Milas, P.C.
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Jonathan Krumeich is an associate at Garcia and Milas located in New Haven, Connecticut. Jonathan concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial and construction litigation, and counsels his clients on complex matters involving a wide range of disputes. Though not an exhaustive list, Jonathan represents a diverse group of clientele including building owners, homeowners, corporations, developers, general contractors, and subcontractors in his commercial and construction law practice.
This publication is for general information purposes only and is not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances.