Firms Talk Stimulus

The first round of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) obligations were allocated six months, and the results for engineering firms has been mixed. This article summarizes how the money has been allocated, and interviews some engineering executives regarding what ARRA has meant for their firms. Of the $48.1 billion allocated to transportation infrastructure, $30.6 billion has been obligated to more than 10,000 approved projects as of early-November 2009. However, only $17.9 billion of that initial sum of $48.1 billion was made available for highways and bridges. Because of a stipulation that the projects must be "shovel-ready," the first half of the money went largely to projects that were perpetually on-deck such as repaving work. This has been disappointing for those who were expecting opportunities to secure significant design work in the public sector. States have until March 2, 2010, to obligate the remaining money allotted to highways and bridges (about $9 billion). For one firm in New Jersey, which does 30% of its work in the public sector, the stimulus package has been a positive. ARRA has helped fund significant projects that were at a standstill previously, such as a mass transit tunnel to improve public transportation from New Jersey to New York. A firm that specializes in design/construction staking and planning services was skeptical at first that ARRA would be of any help, but has been pleasantly surprised by the amount of small projects the package is providing. However, another firm had low expectations for the stimulus package and says the results are even lower than the expectations. This firm does have high hopes for the next round of obligations in March, and is making sure all of their prequalifications and partnerships with other firms are lined up to take advantage of any opportunities that ARRA funding provides.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: pp 26, 28
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01149207
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 27 2010 10:00PM