Regardless of what side of the political spectrum you fall on, Americans agree that our infrastructure needs improving. President Trump made a campaign promise to improve our infrastructure to ensure it’s comparable to that of other first world countries. During his State of the Union address, he revisited the topic. If both parties can agree on an improvement deal, the transportation industry could encounter a boom in business. Here’s what you need to know about the infrastructure plan – and what it might mean for you.
The Details Remain Fuzzy
Trump brought up his infrastructure plan in his State of the Union address, but the administration is not expected to release the details until at least mid-February. Here’s what we do know:
- The administration will likely ask Congress for $200 billion in federal spending, which will likely lead to private, state, and local financing for bridge repair and new builds, highways, and even waterworks projects.
- The proposal also aims to streamline the environmental review process, which will work two fold to make it easier to build new infrastructure and allow for more tolling on roadways.
- The plan outlines $100 billion in cost-sharing projects for urban areas and $50 billion for rural projects. The remaining $50 billion are reserved for projects like high speed trains and federal transportation projects.
What You Can Expect
If the infrastructure initiative pans out as the Trump administration promises, transportation could experience some significant changes. Here are some of the highlights:
- Possible increased business for trucking companies as they sign contracts to load and haul freight related to infrastructure projects. Trucking companies with government contracts could look forward to a steady stream of business should these infrastructure initiatives come to fruition.
- Safer roadways. Some of America’s interstate and rural routes can prove dangerous to commercial truckers due to their state of disrepair. With improved roadways, we can reasonably expect safer roads in the future.
- Slower route times. On the other hand, repairing the roads takes time. As many of the nation’s highways go under construction, you can expect slower traffic and longer times to complete a route in the short-term.
- Greater tolling. The Trump’s administration’s process for greater tolling might mean that America’s roadways are great again, but it also passes the cost on to the private sector. If your company operates heavy duty trucks, expect to pay your share in keeping America’s roadways spic and span by paying more tolls.
One of the biggest unknowns about the project regards a recently leaked document that the Trump administration calls “largely accurate.” The document states that the original promise of 80% federal cost sharing has dropped to 20%. Given the discrepancy, it’s not difficult to see the infrastructure being tied up in Congress due to negotiation and infighting. If it comes to fruition, in any form, the trucking industry will likely experience both positive and negative effects – which supersedes the other remains to be seen.