Addressing the coronavirus demands DOTs and municipalities plan now Roads&Bridges PAUL SCHMITZ, TENSAR INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION MAY 18, 2020
Now that the $2 trillion Phase 3 portion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act has been officially signed into law and implemented, attention is turning towards a potential Phase 4. The goal of Phase 4 would be to provide additional funding to address the ongoing economic challenges of the pandemic. President Trump has expressed his desire for this to include large investments in infrastructure, tweeting last month, “It should be VERY BIG & BOLD, Two Trillion Dollars, and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country!”
Before we can address a massive infrastructure spending bill, states need immediate federal assistance to keep their crucial programs going. Susan Howard, Program Director for Transportation Finance at AASHTO, remarked that, “Most states have seen a 30-50% drop in revenue due to stay home orders.” With fewer people driving, reducing revenues collected from gas taxes and other means, an estimated $50 billion will be needed to make up for this shortfall over the next 18 months. Some states are already suspending new construction, while others are only moving forward on a few key projects. Howard concludes, “Funding for state DOTs lifts all boats.” The general consensus seems to be this important stop-gap investment for DOTs will happen much sooner than a larger, long-term infra...
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