Road Projects Spike, Transit Slows in 2022

The federal dollars that are making their way to infrastructure projects around the country are largely supporting highway and bridge projects as transit agencies struggling to finance day-to-day operations delay capital investments.

1 minute read

March 6, 2023, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Federal investments made during the pandemic are starting to reach states, but much of the funding is going to road building, writes Dan Zukowski in Smart Cities Dive.

While contracts for road and bridge projects grew, contracts for rail and transit projects “slowed significantly,” with only 180 rail and transit contracts totaling $3.5 billion developed in 2022. By contrast, “The 38,220 contracts for roadway-related construction totaled $102.2 billion,” Zukowski explains. “In a separate ARTBA analysis of how infrastructure law highway and bridge funds had been used through Sep. 30, 2022, 46% went to roadway repair or reconstruction work while just 1% went to bike and pedestrian facilities.”

American Road & Transportation Builders Association Chief Economist Alison Premo Black points to the pandemic as one cause, saying “It’s not surprising that the capital investment has been scaled back while agencies have been so concerned about operations.” Transportation infrastructure spending is continuing to ramp up, with over 150 bills aimed at transportation projects introduced in state legislatures this year.

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