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Current Construction Projects Assisted by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

Current Construction Projects Assisted by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

In November of 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) marked the start of a new initiative to revitalize infrastructure throughout the United States and has contributed to thousands of ongoing and prospective projects from clean nuclear energy, to upgraded roads and railways, improvements to air travel, and new locks and levees. There are nine significant national projects. These projects, ranging in estimated costs from $3 billion to $30 billion, are set to have a major impact on the construction industry this year.

Clean energy

Just outside of Waynesboro, Georgia, a new nuclear reactor is underway at Plant Vogtle. The Unit 4 reactor, which was the second of two new units to be built by Plant Vogtle, went online this past April. At completion Unit 4 is projected to be the largest generator of clean energy in the U.S. and one of the first new units to be built after a three-decade lull in new projects related to nuclear power generation.

Roads and rails

Upgrades are coming for I-45 near Huston Texas which has been known as one of the most dangerous stretches of highway in the country. The Texas Department of Transportation is planning to widen and reroute the highway with work including improved drainage, new connections, and modifications to accommodate bikes and pedestrians scheduled to start sometime in 2024, with no clear start date from the Texas Department of Transportation and run through an expected date of completion in 2042.

Additionally major work is planned on two bridges this year with the replacement of the I-5 bridge spanning the Columbia River between Washington and Oregon starting construction in 2025, and improvements to the Brent Spence Bridge between Kentucky and Ohio along interstates 71 and 75 which are scheduled to begin in late 2024 and run through 2029 but has passed the federal environmental review that will allow construction to move ahead.

Two new projects are also underway for our rail systems. In New York and New Jersey, the Gateway project is a $16.1 billion group of projects designed to repair existing tunnels and construct new bridges and platforms along the Hudson River, effectively doubling the capacity for the Northeast Corridor rail segment. In California and Nevada, a new high-speed rail project is expected to connect Rancho Cucamonga, California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Although a start-date has not yet been announced for construction, it is believed that the rail line could be up and running as early as 2028.

Air travel

Tremendous changes are coming to JFK airport in New York as work continues on the construction of two new international terminals: Terminal 1 which is on track to open in 2026 with final date of completion predicted for 2030, and Terminal 6 which will also open for limited use in 2026 and has a projected date of completion in 2028. Additionally, JFK is making significant modifications to Terminal 8 with a $125 million project to redevelop their dining, retail, and performance spaces inside the terminal as well as a $1.5 billion expansion to Terminal 4 which will include renovation of concourses and improved vehicle access to the terminal along with other upgrades.

Locks and levees

In Southeast Louisiana, a new levee system is taking shape along the west shore of Lake Pontchartrain. The 18.5-mile levee system is expected to have floodwalls as high as twelve feet in some areas to help protect from storm surges that result from hurricanes. The project is well underway with the first section of levees expected to be completed during 2024 and more sections scheduled for completion over the next two years.

Also in process is a project to overhaul the Soo Locks along St. Mary’s River in Michigan. The project includes construction of a new lock as well as upgrades to the existing walls of the locks to accommodate modern vessels and improve the flow of shipping through the river. Work of Phase 2 of the project is expected to wrap-up in the summer of 2024, however work for Phase 3 will continue into later years.

Even with the slowdown of Investment Act funding, these large-scaled projects are ongoing. The construction industry is hopeful for a continued money flow from the government to fund these very needed large infrastructure projects in 2024 and future years.

 

07/10/2024

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