Inflation is forcing state and local officials to CANCEL or scale back infrastructure projects under Biden’s $1trillion bill: Shortage of workers and prices of pipes, asphalt and construction materials surging

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BIDENFLATION

“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.”  Psalms 95:6 (KJV) 

The $1 trillion in federal infrastructure investment sparked by the massive bill President Joe Biden signed last year is starting to kick in.

But many projects around the country are being stalled or delay – or facing double the projected costs – because the highest inflation in 41 years is pushing up the prices of materials.

There is also a widespread shortage in workers, further hampering efforts to rebuild or revamp roads, bridges, airports and water systems across the country.

The price of a foot of water pipe in Tucson, Arizona: up 19 percent. The cost of a ton of asphalt in a small Massachusetts town: up 37 percent. The estimate to build a new airport terminal in Des Moines, Iowa: 69 percent higher, with a several year delay.

The price hikes already are diminishing the value of a $1 trillion infrastructure plan Biden signed into law just seven months ago. That law had included, among other things, a roughly 25 percent increase in regular highway program funding for states.

Many economists and Republicans say the influx of federal funds is one of the leading causes of skyrocketing inflation, and money set aside for the projects is being rendered useless.

‘Those dollars are essentially evaporating,’ said Jim Tymon, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. ‘The cost of those projects is going up by 20 percent, by 30 percent, and just wiping out that increase from the federal government that they were so excited about earlier in the year.’

In Casper, Wyoming, the low bid to rebuild a major intersection and construct a new bridge over the North Platte River came in at $35 million this spring – 55 percent over a state engineer’s estimate. The bid was rejected and the project delayed as state officials re-evaluate their options.

‘If this inflation keeps the way it is, we will have to roll projects from one year into the next, into the next, into the next,’ said Mark Gillett, chief engineer of the Wyoming Department of Transportation.

Examples of projects receiving a major re-evaluation because of inflation include:

* Des Moines International Airport: Four years ago, a new 14-gate terminal was projected to cost $434 million and be open by 2026. By this spring, the cost had soared to $733 million

* Series of bridge repairs along Interstate 55 in St. Louis, Missouri, came in at $63 million this year, 57 percent over the budgeted amount

* In Huntington, Massachusetts, a 1.5-mile stretch of road won’t be finished this year after a 37 percent spike in the price of liq…

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