State of the Construction Industry – What President Trump’s Potential Infrastructure Bill Might Mean for Pennsylvania

With most of the nation’s construction at a standstill, the Trump administration has been looking into what may be the next step for America following the COVID-19 pandemic. After passage of the CARES Act on March 27, there have been mentions that the president could be pursuing an additional $2 trillion bill to aid in repairing the nation’s aging infrastructure. The bill, driven by low interest rates and the overall decreased cost of borrowing, might demonstrate why now could be seen as opportune time to address the issue. But what would a potential bill mean for construction endeavors in Pennsylvania and surrounding states?

To help evaluate that question, we looked at a 2018 study conducted by 24/7 Wall Street that ranked the country’s infrastructure and identified the most distressed states. In order, they are:

  1. Rhode Island 
  2. Hawaii 
  3. West Virginia 
  4. Pennsylvania 
  5. California 

The analysis took into consideration the number of bridges, roads and dams that are in a “state of despair or potentially hazardous.” Pennsylvania ranked fourth overall due to a combination of poor roads, deficient bridges and dams at a high hazard risk. The commonwealth was among the top 15 worst states in each infrastructure category.

In a separate 2018 study conducted by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Pennsylvania was issued an overall infrastructure grade of C+. Included in this report card, issued by a committee of more than 75 civil engineers, ASCE awarded grades to key areas like roads (D+), bridges (D+), transit (D) and wastewater (D-). The committee consulted staffing from both the ASCE National and its Committee on America’s Infrastructure to gather both a macro and micro perspective of the state.

It appears, then, there’s significant need for Pennsylvania to receive funding to improve the state’s infrastructure. While no federal money is certain at this time, Pennsylvania’s own government has taken strides to aid in this effort. During 2019, Governor Tom Wolf unveiled the Restore Pennsylvania Improvement Plan that would potentially invest $4.5 billion into the state’s infrastructure over a four-year period.

So while there’s been no federal legislation drafted at this time, there may be numerous opportunities for Pennsylvania and surrounding states to be positively impacted from construction-related infrastructure projects in the coming years. Until – and as – more 

information becomes available, we encourage you to visit the Schneider Downs website for the most recent updates.

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