A comprehensive infrastructure bill with a dollar value of around $2 trillion could be introduced by a new Biden Administration and passed by Congress late next spring.
Or so says John Porcari, an adviser to the Biden transition team and former Department of Transportation deputy secretary.
In an address to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Porcari said the impetus behind such a bill will be Biden himself, noting that the former Vice-President, “has long been an advocate of infrastructure. He feels it in his bones.”
Porcari said he is convinced that a President Biden will endeavor to be fiscally responsible, while still promoting large infrastructure solutions.
“Every dollar is going to need to do double or triple duty,” Porcari remarked. “We need to think of transportation investments not as an end, but as a means to an end.”
Continued Porcari: “We need equity, righting some of the ways of the past. Our aging infrastructure needs to be replaced. How do we do this in an equitable way?”
The transportation construction industry should also expect a greater emphasis on transit spending, in particular zero-emission transit for cities whose populations exceed 100,000 people, which would include Albuquerque, Denver, El Paso, Phoenix and Tucson, among other Western cities.
Porcari additionally said that state departments of transportation should expect an increase in federal grant programs, with various projects being supported by accelerated Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grants.
Those state DOTs, said Porcari, should soon begin to implement checklist reviews of the projects that are most needed within their state borders in order to better respond to the imminent Biden effort.
According to multiple sources, the Biden infrastructure effort will see at least $50 billion delegated to road, highway, and bridge repairs in the first year; and $3.5 million for competitive Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grants and Infrastructure for Rebuilding America funding.
It is also thought that there could be a doubling of funding for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program, which supports any number of airport infrastructure construction and upgrading projects.
By Garry Boulard
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