US & Global Economic Impact Analysis and Forecasts

Freedonia analysts and economists are sharing their insights on how major events are impacting different parts of the US and global economies.

Initiative to Repair Bridges to Benefit Construction Industry

The US government’s announcement of a $27 billion plan to repair older and unsafe bridges across the US is welcome news not only to state and local agencies charged with fixing and repairing these structures but to the US construction industry – those companies responsible for providing the materials and labor for these projects.

It’s long been known that the national network of bridges is in need of repair. While less than 10% of the bridges in the US were considered to be “structurally deficient” in the most recent report card of US infrastructure by the American Society of Civil Engineers, more than 40% of the nation’s bridges are more than 50 years old – and these structures will eventually some repair (if not outright replacement).

Many state and local governments tried to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic-related emptying of America’s roads and highways (due to the surge in working from home) by accelerating work on bridge repair since it is easier to complete projects when fewer vehicles are zipping by workers. However, this decline in road and highway traffic meant that consumers were spending much less on gasoline. This was an issue in many states, as taxes on gasoline play a major role in funding highway projects. Thus, less funds were available for bridge repair – making this spending initiative important for states looking to perform crucial infrastructure repairs.

This increase in funding will boost for a wide range of construction projects, such as:

  • cement and concrete
  • prefabricated concrete products, such as piers, pilings, and bridge sections
  • metal pillars, posts, and other structural supports
  • steel rebar to reinforce poured and prefabricated concrete components
  • lumber used as supports for concrete pours

For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, particularly our series of studies in the Construction and Building Products catalog. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.