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Keep up to date with the evolving world of government bidding with tips, best practices, trends, research and observations. Let BidNet's knowledge and experience work for you.

Fixing the Nation’s Infrastructure: Finding Public Works Bid Opportunities


Fixing the Nation’s Infrastructure: Finding Public Works Bid Opportunities

The U.S. Interstate Highway System was created 60 years ago. Today, many experts agree that the nation’s highways are in deplorable condition and in dire need of repairs. The U.S. has not undertaken any major infrastructure projects since the days of the Eisenhower administration.[i]

Addressing the grave situation of our highways, bridges and water systems is one issue that government officials on both sides of the aisle have agreed to make a priority. According to an analysis report by the National League of Cities, almost half of city leaders have mentioned the priority of updating our transportation systems. The problem is that today there are few federal funds available for infrastructure repairs, leaving states and cities to come up with billions of dollars needed for critical repairs.

The need to address the nation’s infrastructure crisis has been an issue for so long that it was a hot topic during the 2016 Presidential election. At that time, both candidates vowed  to fix the problems if elected: Hillary Clinton proposed spending $250 billion over  five years to improve roads, bridges, and expand public transit, while Trump proposed to spend double what Clinton promised and stated that improving to the country’s infrastructure would bring about a great economic boom.[ii]

Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) grades the overall condition of America’s critical infrastructure. The 2017 ASCE report card “gives America’s infrastructure a D+ and estimates that approximately 3.6 trillion dollars would need to be invested by 2020 in order to get the nation’s infrastructure in a good place.”[iii] According to the U.S. Department of Transportation “the nation’s highways and bridges face an $808.2 billion backlog of investment spending, including $479.1 billion in critically needed repairs.”[iv]

Major Infrastructure Projects

As current projects move along and new ones begin, there will be plenty of opportunities for vendors to bid on public works projects undertaken by state and federal agencies across the nation. Public works projects are one of the most common types of public sector bids and are some of the most lucrative contracts vendors can win. Summer is the best time of year for vendors to begin searching for opportunities to work on these projects and to establish relationships with various state agencies. Below are some infrastructure projects currently in the works:

Manhattan West, New York City: The Manhattan West project is a massive mixed development that will cover 7 million square feet and feature three skyscrapers crammed with state of the art office space, retail stores, residential apartments, pop-up experiences and a boutique hotel. Manhattan West will also boast an event plaza and green space and will even encompass renovations to nearby residential buildings. The space will be divided as follows:

  • 6 million sq. ft. of office space
  • 2 acre public plaza
  • 240,000 sq. ft. of retail, curated food and pop-up experiences
  • 844 residential units
  • 164 hotel rooms

(Source: ManhattanWestNYC.com. Manhattan West A Brookfield Place. 2019)

Gordie Howe International Bridge, US/Canada border: The Gordie Howe International Bridge will connect Detroit, Michigan to Windsor, Ontario. The bridge will be 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) long and will feature six lanes for vehicle traffic – three U.S. - bound and three Canadian bound. Construction of the bridge will consist of four components: the bridge itself, the Canadian Point of Entry, the U.S. Point of Entry and the Michigan Interchange, which will include road improvements, four new road bridges, five new pedestrian bridges, widened roads at intersections and new or reconfigured ramps. The bridge is expected to cost $5.7 billion; developers expect the bridge to take 74 months to construct and say the project will create 2,500 jobs.

(Source: Pont International Gordie Howe International Bridge. Overview. 2019)

Long Island Rail Road Project, New York City: Construction of a new station under Grand Central Terminal to create an easier commute between Long Island and the east side of Manhattan began more than ten years ago. The Long Island Rail Road Project is one of the largest transportation projects in America and is expected to ultimately cost over $11 billion. The project is expected to be completed in 2022.

(Source: B. De Lea. Fox Business. Most Expensive U.S. Infrastructure Projects. 16 May 2019)

2nd Avenue Subway, New York City: The first phase of this project was completed in 2017, when three Q-Line stations were constructed on the Upper East Side of NYC. Phase two will consist of extending the Q-Line to three newly-created stations in East Harlem. The second phase is estimated to cost $4.5 billion and will take another 10 years to complete.

(Source: S. Francisco, B. Velez, J. Evelly. CityLimits.org. East Harlem Braces as Next Phase of 2nd Avenue Subway Nears. 12 Dec. 2018)

Nebraska Highway Infrastructure: This initiative will see $12.5 billion invested over the next twenty years to maintain and upgrade Nebraska’s highway system. Work will encompass pavement and bridge preservation, roadway expansion and grade separations, modernization of roadways, bridges, rail crossings and rural transit. The project will also expand 17 miles of Interstate 80 west of the city of Lincoln, widen the interstate to six lanes, replace eight bridges, reconstruct interchanges and improve grading, culvert, lighting and rest areas.

(Source: L. Cowin. ConstructionDive.com. String of Infrastructure Investments Underway Hints at Bid 2019. 3 Jan. 2019)

Tennessee Water Infrastructure: This initiative will see $15.6 billion invested over the next 23 years to repair and upgrade Tennessee’s sewer and drinking water systems.

This project will be supported in part by the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 that President Trump signed, which authorized $6 billion in spending for water infrastructure-related projects. In addition to the Water Infrastructure Act, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to invest $1.2 billion in water and wastewater infrastructure in the rural areas of 46 states and also plans to finance 234 water and environmental projects in the near future, including drinking water, storm water drainage and waste disposal systems.

(Source: L. Cowin. ConstructionDive.com. String of Infrastructure Investments Underway Hints at Bid 2019. 3 Jan. 2019)

How to Finance Infrastructure Projects?

Political leaders in the US are trying to figure out where the money is going to come from to support infrastructure projects across the nation. One idea is to raise the federal fuel tax by 1.5 cents per year, which would result in a contribution of $17 billion each year. Another idea is to authorize the sale of “Rebuild America Bonds”,  of which up to $300 billion worth of the investment products would be sold to fund  an infrastructure bank that will support work on roads, bridges and other infrastructure in need of repairs.[v]

Using a Bid Intelligence Service to Help Find the Bids

Construction is an industry where vendors can find many government bid opportunities, however finding the right bid for one’s business can be time consuming and overwhelming. This is why many vendors use a bid intelligence service such as BidNet to identify the bid opportunities they’re looking for. By becoming a member of a bid intelligence service, businesses can learn about bid opportunities before their competitors and get a jump start on bidding on government contracts.

Bid intelligence services provide members with daily bid notifications and access to a bid management system, as well as a variety of tools and resources that make bidding on government opportunities easy. With thousands of public works projects being published in the US, it can be daunting to seek out the right opportunities.  Having a team of dedicated researchers finding the right bids for your business ensures that you will never miss an opportunity to bid on the perfect public works project. 

Danielle Calamaras | BidNet.com

[i] SeekingAlpha.com. Why There’s Insatiable Demand for U.S. Infrastructure. 7 Apr. 2019. Web. 28 May 2019

[ii] D. Lieb. “America’s Infrastructure Needs Repair.” USNews.com. 19 Sept. 2016. Web. 10 Apr. 2017

[iii]  N. DuPuis. “Mayors say America’s Infrastructure Needs an Upgrade.” National League of Cities. 26 July 2016. Web. 10 Apr. 2017

[iv] C. Pazzanese. “America’s Crumbling Infrastructure.” Phsy.org. 9 Jan. 2017. Web. 10 Apr 2017

[v] L. Cowin. ConstructionDive.com. String of Infrastructure Investments Underway Hints at Bid 2019. 3 Jan. 2019 Web. 28 May 2019

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Keep up to date with the evolving world of government bidding with tips, best practices, trends, research and observations. Let BidNet’s knowledge and experience work for you.

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