The bill should provide construction funding for the long-term
On Dec. 16, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Water Infrastructure Improvements Act (WIIN) authorizing $10.3 billion for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water infrastructure projects. The bill passed by large margins in both the House and Senate.
Tom Ichniowski, in an article in ENR.com outlines in detail the scope of the new bill.
“It provides funds…for 30 new Corps flood-control, harbor-dredging, environmental restoration and other projects.” States and municipalities can use these funds to supplement their funding.
Mr. Ichniowski quotes “Mike Strachn, senior advisor with Dawson & Associates, Washington, D.C.” who states that construction “projects contained in the bill’s Corps section, titled the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016, are ‘the meat and potatoes’ in the legislation.”
Engineering for the project should begin immediately; it may take years before actual construction begins.
Major portions of the funding include “$2.7 billion for Ohio River lock and dam improvements in Pennsylvania; $2.1 billion for storm protection and environmental restoration in southwestern coastal Louisiana; $993 million for Central Everglades environmental restoration in Florida.”
Funds have been allotted to improve drinking water systems, including the water pipelines in Flint, Mich.
Major storm management funding is also included in the bill, including projects on Lake Tahoe, the Columbia River, and the Delaware River.
“Port officials were big winners in the WIIN Act.” There is funding for harbor dredging projects.
Locks and dams in Louisiana, Texas, and Ohio are slated for improvements.
Long-term federal financing for infrastructure projects—this is what the construction industry and the country have been pushing Congress to enact for years.
What a nice holiday gift for us all.
Obama Signs Major Water-Resources Bill, Tom Ichniowski, ENR.com, Dec. 16, 2016.