1 of 3,816
UPDATE: President Proposes $2T-Plus Jobs Package Centered on Infrastructure
Engineering News Record
Troy, Michigan, USA
Media, Engineering
Tom Ichniowski
Date Published: 
Infrastructure, Roads, Bridges, streets, Rail, Electric Vehicles, Water, Energy, Environment, Transportation, Government Policy, Economy, Jobs, Business, Taxes
Tapestry Statistics:
2021-03-31 22:04:51
2021-03-31 22:10:14
Content Score: 
Profile Views: 
Click Throughs: 
Marie Tagudena
President Joe Biden has formally unveiled the framework of an ambitious $2-trillion-plus economic stimulus/job creation package that would include hundreds of billions of dollars for highways, bridges, transit, passenger rail, water systems, airports, marine ports, schools and other types of infrastructure around the country.

Construction industry groups and congressional Democrats praised the wide-ranging proposal's focus on significant infrastructure spending. But contractor groups and Republicans criticized Biden's proposed "pay-for," an increase in the corporate tax rate.

Biden, introducing the proposal in a speech March 31 at a Carpenters' union training center in Pittsburgh, called it "a once in a generation investment in America."

He said the spending in the proposal, which the administration is calling the American Jobs Plan, would generally be spread over eight years.

In a briefing for reporters the evening of March 30, an administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, “We think that these are investments that, as a country, we cannot afford not to make,” the official said.

As Biden has indicated for months, a major theme of the plan is addressing the effects of climate change, including elements to boost use of electric vehicles and funding to increase resilience of infrastructure.

According to a White House summary of the proposal, the administration is grouping the components, and spending, under four main headings:
  • How We Move (including transportation infrastructure): $600 billion
  • How We Live at Home (including drinking water, broadband, public housing): $650 billion
  • How We Care (including raising wages and benefits for home-care workers): $400 billion
  • How We Make and Create (including increased research and development spending): $580 billion
Most of the sectors that ENR traditionally views as construction-related infrastructure fall in the first two categories. ENR's initial estimate of funding for such infrastructure is $990 billion.

'Heart of the Plan': Transportation funding
In his speech, Biden called the $600-billion transportation portion of his proposal "the heart of the plan." That How We Move sector's total includes $115 billion for roads and bridges; $85 billion for public transit; $80 billion for Amtrak and freight rail; and $174 billion for facilities related to electric vehicles, chiefly a network of charging stations around the U.S.

The roads funding would upgrade 20,000 miles of highways, roads and main streets, according to an administration document, and address “the ten most economically significant bridges in the country in need of reconstruction,” plus “the worst 10,000 smaller bridges.”

Also in the transportation category are: $25 billion for airports; $17 billion for ports and inland waterways and land ports of entry (border stations); $20 billion for projects to improve environmental justice; $25 billion for a fund for “ambitious projects;” and $50 billion to make infrastructure more resilient in the face of storms, fires and other natural disasters.

Water, Energy, Environment

The Where We Live category would include $111 billion to replace lead pipes and service lines. Of that total, $45 billion would go for the existing Drinking Water State Revolving Funds and $56 billion for water grants.

Also in this section are: $100 billion to install broadband; $100 billion to improve the electric grid—including a new investment tax credit; and $16 billion to plug “orphan” oil and gas wells and clean up abandoned mines. It also would have $5 billion for Superfund and brownfield projects and $10 billion to establish a new Civilian Climate Corps, an echo of the Depression-era New Deal’s Civilian Conservation Corps.

In addition, that category proposes substantial amounts for various types of buildings. Allotments include $40 billion for public housing infrastructure and $100 billion to construct or upgrade public schools.

Half of the schools funding would come through grants and half would be financed through bonds. Another $12 billion would go to community college facilities and $25 billion to child care facilities.

In addition, $18 billion in the Where We Live section would be allocated to Dept. of Veterans Affairs hospitals and clini
Organizations Mentioned: (3)
AGC | Associated General Contractors of America
Arlington, Virginia, USA
Washington, DC, USA
Transportation, Rail
LiUNA | Laborers' International Union of North America
Washington, DC, USA
Non-profit Labor Organization