Despite the downward pressures of a pandemic economy, the bridge construction industry is expected to see a $300 billion increase in work projects between now and the year 2027 according to a new report.
The Bridge Construction Market Outlook, published by the Allied Market Research company, is forecasting a roughly 4.6% annual growth rate for the industry in the next seven years.
Allied Market Research is a global company with offices in Portland, Oregon, among other cities.
Looking at arch, beam, cable-stayed, truss, and suspension bridge segments, the report notes that despite the upward numbers, the industry is challenged by everything from a lack of quality raw materials to complex structural geometry, as well as insufficient project funding.
Even so, each segment of the business is expected to experience some form of growth between now and 2027, with beam and cable-stayed bridge projects leading the way.
The total value of such construction world-wide appears on track to pass the $1.2 trillion mark, up from $908 billion in 2019.
Spiriting the demand for new bridges is a combination of factors including the expansion of railway networks, and an increase in urbanization, among other factors.
A separate report focusing only on the U.S. market and published by the company IBIS World, notes that the industry has been plagued by the inability of Congress to pass a comprehensive infrastructure bill.
Temporary government stimulus spending this year, along with federal discretionary grants, have helped, notes the Bridge & Elevated Highway Construction report.
But a lack of a larger federal spending bill designed to address both new bridge construction as well as upgrading existing bridge projects has proven a downer.
Congressional analysts say such a bill, which would essentially be a renewal of the existing Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, will have another chance of passage if pushed by the Biden Administration, once the new 117th Congress meets next month.
The current FAST Act is scheduled to expire in September.
By Garry Boulard
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