After weeks of haggling and negotiating, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly called the stimulus bill, on Feb. 17 in Denver. Of particular interest to concrete producers, the government will spend $111 billion on infrastructure and science.
“We are remaking the American landscape with the largest new investment in our nation's infrastructure since Eisenhower built an interstate highway system in the 1950s,” the president said. “Nearly 400,000 men and women will go to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, repairing our faulty dams and levees, bringing critical broadband connections to businesses and homes in nearly every community in America, upgrading mass transit, and building high-speed rail lines that will improve travel and commerce.”
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood emphasized the future role of transportation projects. “Transportation is a great enabler of economic growth, the lifeblood of commerce,” he said. “It moves people to jobs and goods to the marketplace. Without strong transportation arteries, economies stagnate.”
“There are many commendable portions of the economic stimulus bill, but there is still much work to be done,” added John Shaw, PCA's senior vice president of government affairs. “The best way to get America working again is through the most measurable metric—road and bridge construction. We hope that Congress will continue to address our nation's crumbling infrastructure and continue putting America back to work by making transportation-related legislation a priority.”
Coming in TCP...
The May issue of THE CONCRETE PRODUCER will include a special report on how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will impact the U.S. concrete industry, with a look at what kind of projects producers should be geared up for.