Infrastructure dollars will have a major impact on the construction industry in Massachusetts, creating new, good-paying jobs and stimulating economic growth. These transformational projects reflect the largest investment in our country’s rapidly deteriorating infrastructure in decades.
According to the White House, Massachusetts currently has 472 bridges and more than 1,194 miles of highway in poor condition, costing drivers significant amounts of time and money each year. With a $5 billion budget, crews across the Bay State will significantly upgrade our physical infrastructure by repairing and improving aging roads, bridges, and highways. After years of underfunding, the myriad benefits of this infusion of cash will be clear, measurable, and long-lasting.
In addition, funds will be allocated for the modernization of public transportation, making the system more efficient, climate resilient and accessible to riders. Further, these repairs will help reduce rising commuting times and prevent excessive wear and tear on automobiles. Local transportation advocates are suggesting a number of high-profile priorities, including rebuilding the Massachusetts Turnpike in Allston and linking the Red Line to the Blue Line, in addition to electrifying bus fleets and the commuter rail system. Right now, nearly a quarter of buses and public transit vehicles in the Commonwealth are no longer useful, so $2.5 billion in funding will increase transit options.
For those whose travels take them out of state, Logan Airport, along with its terminals and runways— which sit on an expansive 1,700-acre parcel— will also benefit from nearly a quarter of a billion dollars.
We’ve all read the stories about cities and towns grappling with poor water quality. Thankfully, monies to underwrite the replacement of dangerous lead pipes, an essential repair that will provide our citizens with safe, clean drinking water, are included in the infrastructure bill.
To further help combat climate change, $3 billion will be allocated to help weatherize houses and other buildings which will lead to lower energy costs, an increase in property values, reduced pollution, and enhanced comfort.
Additionally, a $63 million investment will expand the availability of electrical charging stations which help reduce reliance on fossil fuels and decrease emissions which are harmful to human health. Through our work at client headquarters and parking facilities, we have seen first-hand, an increased interest in, reliance on and a demand for electrical charging stations.
And in terms of high-speed Internet coverage, broadband will be expanded for the almost 140,000 Massachusetts residents who currently lack access. Meanwhile, millions are being allotted to protect against cyberattacks that can cause major disruptions.
In short, this legislation represents a robust local investment in critical infrastructure needs across the state. At JM Electrical, we are excited about prospects for the regional construction industry with this unprecedented support of diverse building, energy, transportation, water/sewer, and high-speed broadband projects.
Moody’s Investors Service has reported that construction spending could see a 5% increase in 2022 and a 5.5% increase in 2023. If that spending trickles down to the Commonwealth, our historic construction boom could be sustained well into the immediate future.
By Matthew Guarracino, Principal & CEO, JM Electrical, Inc.