OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The executive director of the Heavy Constructors Association of Greater Kansas City said President Joe Biden’s new infrastructure law will be a shot in the arm for the construction industry with a positive, trickle-down impact in other industries.
The law sets aside $1 trillion for infrastructure projects over the next five years.
Some of the money will go directly to states where leaders can use their own discretion on which projects to fund. The other portion will be available as grants to fund specific projects. States will apply for those grants.
The law follows a formula for how to divvy up the allocation going directly to states.
Here’s a rough outline of how the Heavy Constructors Association says the formula breaks down for Kansas and Missouri.
- Road repairs: $2.6 billion
- Bridge replacements and repairs: $225 million
- Water systems: $454 million
- Airports: $109 million
- Road repairs: $6.5 billion
- Bridge replacements and repairs: $484 million
- Water systems: $866 million
- Airports: $246 million
Bridgette Williams, of the Heavy Constructors Association, said there are bout 30,000 construction workers in the Kansas City area. This funding will put them to work on billions of dollars worth of backlogged projects.
Beyond the construction industry, Williams believes this funding will have a social impact by providing new infrastructure to areas in need. Whether it’s new roads or new fiber internet connections, Williams said the funding creates a rising tide that will lift all boats.
“When your infrastructure is good, your economic development follows. That creates more jobs, that creates more opportunities for the unemployed and underserved,” Williams said. “This is really a shot in the arm.”
Williams will now focus on working with states to prioritize infrastructure projects in the Kansas City area, as she wants to make sure the region gets its fair share of investment.