Governments line up road improvement projects for 2022 and beyond
America’s vast network of roads is a treasured public asset – an essential component of global competitiveness. The country’s roadways also are the backbone of economic vitality for every region of the U.S.
Because of this, officials at all levels of government must continually care for this public resource. Fortunately, care and upkeep will be more abundant and robust over the next few years because of new funding.
Companies that are well positioned and experienced in transportation contracting tend to monitor the large projects. That is understandable, but over the next few years opportunities to contract with government for smaller roadway repair projects will be more plentiful than anything experienced over the past few decades. These new opportunities should not be overlooked.
Roadway repair projects, including resurfacing, expansion, and upgrades will be evident in all states. Although these projects are smaller (multi-million-dollar budgets) when compared to the larger opportunities, the volume of these road repair projects will be massive, and the competition will likely be less.
In Minnesota just one project to improve the accessibility and material composition of a roadway in the city of St. Paul carries a price tag of $10 million. That’s an average range for the smaller projects.
The state of Kansas has authorized $12 million in funding to reconstruct a roadway in the city limits of Overland Park. The upcoming project will expand a two-lane road to accommodate four westbound lanes. The engineering phase will begin in 2022, and the project calls for updating pavement, curbs, shoulders, bike lanes, turn lanes, and storm sewers.
Turning to the southeast, the Georgia Department of Transportation is organizing similar efforts. The agency will soon initiate a $5 million project to widen 0.6 miles of Second Avenue in Rome. The project, which will go out to bid in 2022, entails other repairs and upgrades.
Although these examples illustrate the thousands of smaller-scale projects, the state of Pennsylvania has been eager to fund road rehabilitation projects of significantly greater magnitude. One such upcoming project involves repairing a stretch of interstate in Pennsylvania’s Mercer County. This project calls for reconstruction of eastbound and westbound lanes of Interstate 80. The project will include upgrades to shoulders, improvements to exit ramps, and better connectivity to Interstate 376. The projected cost is $160 million.
In Collin County, Texas, an upcoming road rehabilitation project will reconstruct a four-lane section of U.S 75. The project, which carries a projected cost of $67 million, will widen a part of the roadway to accommodate six lanes and resurface frontage roads along this segment.
The city of Sioux Center, Iowa, has received $18 million from the state to reconstruct and widen some parts of Highway 75. Bid letting for the project, which includes the addition of turn lanes, is scheduled for 2022. Direct oversight of the project’s development, design, and construction phases will fall under the domain of Sioux Center’s city officials.
As government officials wait for large amounts of federal infrastructure funding to be released for transportation projects, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program has been awarded $1 billion for grant funding for 90 projects across 47 states. Of that amount, over $160 million was explicitly designated for road rehabilitation projects.
In Oregon, officials received a $19 million RAISE grant to use for roadway repair projects in the cities of Eugene and Springfield. These projects will include upgrading intersection signaling, improving lane spacing, and adding multilane roundabouts to a connective roadway between the two cities. These projects have been scoped for a $33.9 million total budget.
In November, officials in Iowa were advised that $15 million in RAISE grant funding was available to move forward on a project in the city of Clinton. Clinton’s city officials will oversee reconstruction and improvement of four miles of roadway on Highway 30. The project, which will unfold in phases, will reach a total cost of $38.1 million. The first phase of the project is scheduled for an early 2022 bidding and another subsequent phase will follow in 2022 as well.
Another $20 million is available in the state of Washington to cover half of the cost of a roadway project to improve freight-hauling efficiency and relieve traffic congestion along the East Marginal Way S Corridor. The project’s total cost is estimated to be $38 million.
These smaller roadway repair opportunities represent just a fraction of road reconstruction that will begin in 2022 throughout the U.S. Officials are already preparing for a larger challenge related to road rehabilitation projects, and that involves predicting and bracing for uncertainty in transit technology and load patterns along America’s roadways.
The good news for companies that partner with government to keep the country’s transportation infrastructure upgraded is that there is no end in sight for roadway opportunities. In fact, these opportunities should multiply at a staggering and historic rate in the coming year.