As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on unemployment throughout the nation, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has a suggestion for stimulating the economy—spending on infrastructure.
ASCE has put together a list of infrastructure projects that are construction-ready and could ramp up quickly. ASCE also says it is asking Congress to pass an infrastructure investment package so that projects such as these highlighted in the map can break ground and put Americans back to work.
In New Jersey, the group reported at least $8.2 billion of clean water projects and $2.7 billion of drinking water infrastructure projects are construction ready, and the Port of New York and New Jersey has more than $9.6 billion in projects that can break ground quickly.
“At a time when people are confined to their homes, need jobs and with low interest rates for project funding, we have an opportunity to fast-track construction, but America is stuck until Congress acts,” said K.N. Gunalan, “Guna,” Ph.D., P.E., president, American Society of Civil Engineers. “Critical maintenance and modernization for high-hazard dams, leaking water pipes, antiquated inland waterways, congested multimodal freight corridors and other projects are ready to break ground across the country, which will put Americans back to work and strengthen the resilience of our infrastructure.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has hammered state and municipal budgets as well. ASCE reports that state departments of transportation saw revenues plummet by 14% through June 2020 when compared to the previous years. Data compiled by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association shows at least $9 billion of construction work on transportation projects have already been shelved, ASCE says.
“In the coming months, we have a unique opportunity to reinvest in our infrastructure and jump-start America’s economy,” ASCE stated on its website. “There are hundreds of worthy projects in the pipeline across the country.”