When the FAST Act was signed into law in 2015 by President Obama, it averaged $45 billion per year in spending on roads and bridges. Contrast that to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act just passed by the Senate.
The bill, which now goes to the House, averages just over $70 billion per year, according to National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs Michele Stanley. Alex Etchen, senior director for infrastructure advancement at Associated General Contractors, has it slightly less, but in the same ballpark, while Brian Schmidt, senior regional economist at Portland Cement Association, slices and dices it a bit differently: $60.7 billion + new infrastructure: $22 billion = $82.7 billion per year in total spending on roads and bridges.
No matter how you look at it, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is historic in its investment in roads and bridges and will drive industry success for years to come. Just one more giant step: getting it through the House of Representatives.
The passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by the U.S. Senate was certainly a bipartisan effort, but just how bipartisan was it? All democrats, but only 19 republicans, voted to make the bill a reality.
That is not the type of support we expect from our friends on the right side of the aisle. It is certainly not a perfect bill, but not voting for it to make a statement about one part you don’t like, or on the basis of ideological differences with the president, is not in the bipartisan spirit of cooperation that got the bill to this point in the first place.
When this bill eventually comes out of the House of Representatives and lands on President Biden’s desk for his signature, it will lock down serious production growth for the aggregates industry.
Aggregates producers would do well to position themselves for the upcoming economic boom. That means capitalizing production and maximizing operations to meet increased demand in 2022 and beyond.
The fun is about to begin.
Mark S. Kuhar, editor