Engineering Inc. - May/June 2009 - (Page 6)

MARkEt wAtCh Stimulus Dollars Accelerate Engineering Business By Joe Salimando L ong-ignored infrastructure projects are quickly being funded, thanks to the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), providing a rush of opportunities for U.S. engineering firms. Of the $787 billion package, $48 billion has been tagged by President Barack Obama as an investment in highways that “will create or save 150,000 jobs by the end of next year, most of them in the private sector.” All told, the White House estimates that the stimulus will create 678,000 construction industry jobs by the end of 2010. To be eligible for stimulus package money, contracts have to be in place 180 days after Feb. 17, when ARRA was signed into law. After months of speculation, the so-called “shovel ready” impact of stimulus funding is coming to fruition. Consider these examples: Transportation Engineers Said to Be Among Prime Stimulus Beneficiaries Here are the six white-collar occupations that are “sure to benefit” from the stimulus package, according to CEO Sanjay Sathe: 1. Urban planners 2. Civil engineers 3. Computer system analysts 4. Medical researchers 5. Management consultants 6. Auditors On his blog, Sathe wrote: “After the planning comes the design and construction. Thousands of civil engineers will be needed to design and supervise the construction of roads, bridges, tunnels, buildings, wind turbines and other projects that get a green light as a result of the stimulus package.” priorities in the stimulus package is $170 million “for habitat improvement projects aimed at helping species such as endangered salmon,” according to The Oregonian. And there are other potential sources of funding. Consider the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, also included in the package. According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc., up to $48.3 billion can be allocated to schools, and $25 billion more in eligible bonds also has been authorized. Want in on stimulus work? Here are a few tips to consider: Georgia—One report estimated $931 million to be used by Georgia’s DOT on road projects, with another $143 million tagged for the state’s six largest metro areas. New Jersey—$894 million for highway and transit projects statewide, according to New York Construction magazine, including $138 million for the Access to the Region’s Core project, which involves construction of a second rail tunnel into Manhattan. Maryland—More than $600 million in transportation funding is planned, of which 6 ENGINEERING INC. MAY / JUNE 2009 $137 million is to be spent on state road and bridge projects. Mississippi—The DOT here will distribute $24 million to cities “based on population,” according to The Natchez Democrat. “Each city has six months to find a project, go through all normal approval processes, and begin to advertise for bids.” Oklahoma—A report in the Muskogee Phoenix quoted an ODOT engineer saying that six stimulus-funded projects were scheduled to be let for bid. Tennessee—An Associated Press report said that 10 contracts for bridge replacements already have been bid, accounting for $6.6 million of the $572 million that state officials expect to get for road and bridge projects in the next two years. Federal Projects Department of Defense— The DoD plans to put $5.9 billion to work on approximately 3,000 military construction and facility improve- ment projects. That’s out of $7.4 billion total, of which the Air Force gets $1.7 billion. These projects, according to a report, are to be distributed across all 50 states, as well as Washington, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico. Biggest among the planned projects: new hospitals for Camp Pendleton in California and Fort Hood in Texas. Department of Energy— DoE has outlined where $6 billion in cleanup funds under ARRA will go. More than $3.7 billion is going to just two locations: Hanford, Wash., and the Savannah River site in South Carolina. General Services Administration—The procurement agency for the federal government has $5.5 billion in stimulus funds to distribute, including $4.5 billion earmarked to turn federally owned buildings into highperformance green buildings. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—Among several NOAA a. Keep your eye on ACEC’s Economic Stimulus Resource Center, available at www.acec. org. Also included is a link to Building America’s Future, which connects users to each state’s relevant website. b. States, state transportation departments and localities often post stimulus project websites. Pennsylvania’s site ( launched recently, as did the Georgia DOT stimulus page ( Also, see the federal website: c. ACEC’s March 26 webinar, “Stimulus $ for Transportation Projects,” is archived for download from the ACEC Bookstore at eweb/?site=acec_store. Joe Salimando writes on the construction industry at He can be reached at

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Engineering Inc. - May/June 2009

Engineering Inc. - May/June 2009
Table of Contents
From ACEC to You
News and Notes
Market Watch
Legislative Action
Celebrating 100 Years of Industry Influence
2009 Engineering Excellence Awards
Taking the Pain Out of Permits
Members in the News

Engineering Inc. - May/June 2009