Inflation taking a toll on new infrastructure projects


LOS ANGELES (NewsNation) — Inflation is slamming the U.S. economy with housing, food and gas prices all soaring in recent months, making it harder for Americans to pay bills, but it’s also impacting communities on a macro level, slowing down the building of new infrastructure projects throughout the nation.

Soaring inflation costs are slamming construction projects across the U.S., causing state and local officials to scale back or even postpone major development plans.

The slowdown comes seven months after President Joe Biden signed his $1 trillion infrastructure plan into law. The bill earmarked funding for roads, water projects, airports, broadband internet, electric grids and green-energy projects across America, but the rising costs are essentially wiping out those funds.

Prices for key construction materials like asphalt and tar have risen by 14% since May 2021, steel plates used in bridges rose 23% and iron pipes used in water systems rose 24%.

Des Moines International Airport was planning to use federal funds to replace a terminal projected to cost $434 million, but by spring that cost shot up to $733 million.

In Austin, Texas, plans for two light rail lines through the city jumped from $5.8 billion to $10.3 billion fueled by inflation and surging real estate prices.

The White House is pointing to its “Build America, Buy America” provision as a helpful tool during this inflation increase which requires federally funded projects to use American-made steel construction materials and products.

That move alone will help fill supply chain gaps and even out those inflationary prices on materials while creating more jobs for American workers.

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