In part one of this two-part article, we discussed the current state of America’s highways and the funding needed to repair this crumbling infrastructure system. Below, a Boca Raton construction lawyer with Cotney Construction Law discusses how these expectations stack up to reality. For firms that depend on highway construction projects, understanding how our nation views and funds these projects is vital for their success.
Funding Highway Projects
States and the federal government are responsible for maintaining our roadways. Collectively, they spent $175 billion on highways and roads in 2016. Looking at our highways, you couldn’t be blamed for thinking the opposite, but highway spending has actually increased over the years. When adjusted for inflation, our nation’s annual highway spending increased by $84 billion over the course of three decades. Our nation already spends an incredible amount of money on highway infrastructure, so what’s the problem?
The problem is that the Highway Trust Fund that is the source of our highway federal funding can’t keep up. As the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) state in their 2017 infrastructure report card, “the trust fund has been teetering on the precipice of insolvency for nine years” due to the federal motor fuel tax remaining the same since 1993. None of this covers the $420 billion needed to fund highway operational costs and new construction. States are picking up the slack to fund highway projects, but it’s simply not enough.
What This Means for the Construction Industry
With a lack of proper funding, construction companies will be forced to walk a tightrope as they work and bid on public projects. Construction companies will continue to be pressured to submit low bids on risky projects, perpetuating cash flow issues that are already commonplace for construction businesses. This is on top of the labor shortages, strict regulations, and rising material costs that plague the industry.
Furthermore, highway construction remains one of the most dangerous forms of construction, as the fatalities on this I-4 construction project can attest to. These construction workers are putting their lives on the line to fix our aging roads and build pristine highways. Our lawmakers must be willing to hear their concerns. While our hands are tied regarding federal funding, our law firm can help your company thrive in these difficult times. If your construction company is struggling with safety issues, legal concerns, or bidding issues, consult a Boca Raton construction lawyer from Cotney Construction Law.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.