Infrastructure bill is good news for the UCA, a Division of SME

William Gleason

August 13, 2021

The $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that was passed by the U.S. Senate on Aug. 10 could help transform the United States by repairing and enhancing the nation’s infrastructure including transportation and water tunnels along with roads, bridges as well as the electric grid.

For the members of the Underground Construction Association (UCA), a division of SME, the passing of the bill by the Senate is great news. The bill must still make its way through the U.S. House of Representatives, which might not be an easy task. But should the bill make it to the desk of President Joe Biden, members of the UCA will likely have a lot of work to look forward to in the coming years.

“Investment in infrastructure is critical to our nation’s success,” Mike Rispin, vice president – tunneling at Strata and current UCA Chair said. “Not only is new construction investment direly needed but many industry voices have been heard regarding the need to rehabilitate or replace existing infrastructure as well, as it nears the end of its useful life and declines in performance and cost. Only in this way can we be more efficient domestically and more competitive internationally.

“Consequently, the passing of this legislation portends much needed and very good news,” Rispin continued. “ The tunneling industry will be watching carefully to determine what effects will impact us directly so that we may look collectively forward and determine how best to meet the challenge and opportunity ahead.”

The bill features $550 billion in new federal spending over five years. It invests $110 billion in roads, bridges and major projects, $66 billion in passenger and freight rail, $39 billion to modernize and expand transit systems and $55 billion for water infrastructure.

More specifically, the bill includes $30 billion for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor and another $8 billion in capital improvement grants could be eligible for the long-awaited $11.6 billion Gateway Tunnel Project that would build a new tunnel connecting New York and New Jersey and repair the existing tunnels under the Hudson River.

Risipin said the UCA executive committee recently decided that the bill will be one of the topics of discussion at the next UCA Executive Committee meeting in September.

“Tunneling and underground construction, as we know, is a proven, long-term effective and sustainable solution for the USA’s infrastructure needs,” Rispin said. “Let’s continue to get the messages of our success stories and industry capabilities out to legislators, municipalities and the public alike.”

“Investment in infrastructure is critical to our nation’s success,” Mike Rispin, vice president – tunneling at Strata and current UCA Chair told me recently. “Not only is new construction investment direly needed but many industry voices have been heard regarding the need to rehabilitate or replace existing infrastructure as well, as it nears the end of its useful life and declines in performance and cost. Only in this way can we be more efficient domestically and more competitive internationally.

“Consequently, the passing of this legislation portends much needed and very good news,” Rispin continued. “ The tunneling industry will be watching carefully to determine what effects will impact us directly so that we may look collectively forward and determine how best to meet the challenge and opportunity ahead.”

 

 

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