Tag Archives: Doreen M. Zankowski

2018 Infrastructure Update: Congress is Diligently Working on a New Water Resources Bill

By:  Doreen M. Zankowski, Esq.

2018 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA):

Washington, D.C. – Senate and House Committees are diligently working on a new water resources bill to be filed in 2018 that would authorize federal funds for new Army Corps of Engineers flood protection, harbor and coastal dredging, and seaport improvement programs.  The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) over the past four years (2014 and 2016) has authorized $14.7 billion in spending for approximately 64 projects.  WRDA-2018 should have appropriations exceeding the 2016 authorization of $10.3 billion.  All of this falls in line with President Trump’s stated campaign promise to focus on infrastructure and rebuild America. If the Democrats and Republicans can work together on WRDA-2018, expect funding for at least six projects:  two in Texas, two in Florida, and one each in Hawaii and New York.  The most significant project of the six is a coastal storm protection and environmental restoration projects from Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay in Texas.  The project’s estimated cost is $3.3 billion. 

It should be noted that Senate panel working on WRDA was told at a hearing on Capitol Hill that the Army Corps of Engineers construction backlog is an estimated $96 billion, which is only for current needs and does not include any future requirements.  What does all this mean?  It means that Federal spending should rise in 2018 and 2019 for much-needed infrastructure projects in the United States.  Continue reading 2018 Infrastructure Update: Congress is Diligently Working on a New Water Resources Bill

Pay to Play: America’s Infrastructure Program 2018 and Beyond

Ways to Pay for America’s Infrastructure Needs:  How will we pay for the future infrastructure bill that is heating up on Capitol Hill?  More importantly, bill or no bill, how will we pay for the infrastructure needs of the United States?  In its 2017 Report Card, the American Association of Civil Engineers (ASCE) estimated that the U.S. needed to invest $4.59 trillion in its infrastructure between right now and 2027.  ASCE estimated that Public Private Partnership (P3) programs will only fund 10-15% of America’s infrastructure needs.  This blogger believes that the 10-15% must and will be increased to 40-50% for using P3 delivery methods, otherwise our infrastructure will continue to crumble. 

Currently, the major funding sources on the table are: direct appropriation by the Federal Government; P3 programs; National Infrastructure Bank; Move America Bonds, Tax Credits; Tax Repatriation; Carbon Tax; and Sale of Government Loans.  On a more micro-level, there has been talk of a gas-tax hike, but will that generate enough revenue to fund the ever-growing need to build and replace America’s infrastructure needs.  I dare to say, the gas-tax won’t provide enough fire to fuel this engine.  Continue reading Pay to Play: America’s Infrastructure Program 2018 and Beyond