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Any Hope in Sight as U.S. Bridges Crumble?

by | Aug 18, 2017 | Architecture, Engineering & Construction, Transportation

Any Hope in Sight as U.S. Bridges Crumble?

by | Aug 18, 2017 | Architecture, Engineering & Construction, Transportation

So many questions. Is President Trump’s pledge to improve the U.S. infrastructure a bridge to nowhere? Earlier this week, President Trump signed an executive order with one goal of improving turnaround times on permits associated with infrastructure projects. By now, a vast majority of Americans are fully aware that there are many approvals and projects needed to improve U.S. infrastructure to even satisfactory levels. Executive orders aside, many are well past apprehensive considering the question, “What will happen if decisive action is not taken?”

In terms of investment, the approximate figure of $1 trillion is the target we have seen for some time. Without question, that is a substantial investment to repair, rebuild and create new infrastucture. Credible evidence indicates that investment made today will lessen, or prevent, a complicated set of inevitable problems down the road.

As Stephen Hetzel, from BidPrime, discussed back in January, we continue to be optimistic that some form of a bill, with the objective of addressing this increasing issue, will make it through. Go to 3:22 to hear Hetzel’s prediction, on potential infrastucture-related activity, and a number of additional industries.
Image of crumbling US bridge

You have seen the footage by now. From Trump Tower earlier this week, President Trump informed the assembled media, “My administration is working every day to deliver the world-class infrastructure that our people deserve and, frankly, that our country deserves.” The success of the executive order notwithstanding, we have been paying close attention to the recent public sector purchasing activity related to all aspects of infrastucture. Dating back to one of our original reports, ‘Government Bids: Addressing National Deficient Bridge Infrastructure’, and based on our conversation with Greg DiLoreto, from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), a team of analysts here have particulary followed activity associated with bridge maintenance, materials, construction, etc…

At the point of our report, from two years ago (referenced and linked above), appriximately 10% of U.S. bridges were considered to be “structurally deficient”. Fast forward to today. In the May 2017 edition of, Roads and Bridges, disclosed their analysis titled ‘State of the Bridges Report’ In part, based on data from the ASCE report card, they highlighted that 9.1% of U.S. bridges still carried the distinction of being classified “structurally deficient”. Baby steps.

Source: ASCE

An ominous note from that same ASCE report speculates, “The most recent federal estimate puts the backlog of rehabilitation projects for the nation’s bridges at $123 billion.” Again, we know for certain that a number of angencies within the U.S. federal government, along with U.S. state and local governments, are putting out to bid and executing a multitude of projects. Notably, over the past 365 days, there have been close to five hundred RFPs and bid requests specifically associated with “bridges”.


Top 5 states, by bid totals, in order:

  • Virginia
  • California
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • Minnesota

Top 5 federal agencies, by bid totals, in order:

  • Department of the Army
  • Department of the Navy
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Defense Logistics Agency
  • Department of the Interior

Sample active bids / RFPs

Bridges

Bridge Repairs PA
Bridge Span Materials LA
Bridge and Structures Inspection MN
Bridge Demolition AZ
Bridge Construction CA

We see it. As everyone awaits the outcomes from the latest round of annoucements, a multitude of governments across the country have not been, and are not currently idly standing by on the sidelines. Action is being taken, but that burning question remains, “When do the comprehensive efforts commence?”

According to a poll released this week by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, “eighty-nine (89) percent of all Americans believe that investments in infrastructure will strengthen the U.S. economy, including eight-six (86) percent of city residents and eighty-nine (89) percent of rural Americans.” Regardless of your opinion on polls, or level of interest on the influences remedying U.S. infrastructure will have on the economy, can there be much dispute that the time has come to move on this? As has been our position, and will cotinued to be so, we will track and communicate our findings.

For more information, to review the RFPs/bids, and associated documentation, call us at 1.888.808.5356, or visit BidPrime.

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