Among the public work generating action for contractors across the country is the modernization of airports—and not just the most famous ones in the biggest cities. In addition to billions of dollars from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), airport builds are benefitting from state and county commitments.
Runways, Sustainability and Safety
Dinginess is out of style—and so is overcrowding. Since most of our nation’s airports were built well over 40 years ago, attention is needed to both form and function. Ambitious designs and big budgets are instilling airports with a sense of place and the joy of lift off. Pragmatics like more runways, enhanced safety and a focus on sustainability are at the forefront too. As Construction Dive reports, airport action is keeping contractors of all kinds busy almost everywhere across the country—literally:
Airport projects of all sizes and geographies are getting a boost from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which designates $15 billion over five years for runways, safety and sustainability efforts, terminals, airport-transit connections and roadway projects.
$2.89 billion has been made available for airport projects in fiscal year 2023, and in February, the Federal Aviation Administration awarded nearly $1 billion to 99 airports across the country. Even airport overhauls without federal funding are lifting off this year.
In Kentucky, work at Louisville’s airport exemplifies how different pots of public funding are being won to advance progress. In addition to an IIJA allocation of $13.3 million each year for five years, Louisville also “nabbed a $10.6 million Voluntary Airport Low Emissions grant from the Federal Aviation Administration.” Big works are also moving forward in Nashville, Tennessee, where an influx of both national and international travelers is behind the plans for “expanding two concourses, building a new air freight building and overhauling terminal roadways to improve traffic flow.”
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Surging Traffic: Passengers!
Behind the push for airport modernization and expansion is a tremendous growth in passengers. While of course New York, Houston and other big cities are experiencing this, so too are many other markets, and regions are responding to the opportunities at hand by committing local funding. For example:
The terminal at Southwest Florida International Airport is being expanded to meet a surge in passenger traffic, according to the Lee County Port Authority. The $331 million project will deliver a single, consolidated TSA checkpoint, a connector between the three existing concourses and 164,000 square feet of remodeled space with new concession areas and a business lounge.Construction started in 2021 and is scheduled to wrap in late 2024. Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Manhattan Construction Group is the general contractor.The three-year effort will create about 1,000 jobs with an average of 200 daily workers, and is the second largest public works project in Lee County, Florida, history, per the Lee County Port Authority. It’s being funded with grants from the Florida DOT, passenger facility charges, airport revenue bonds and the Lee County Port Authority construction fund.
Up, Up and Away?
Experts anticipate that infrastructure, green energy and semiconductor manufacturing (CHIPS) projects are going to keep builders hopping, provide a plethora of good jobs for workers across the country—and ratcheting up the necessity of welcoming under represented groups, including women, into building trades. Indeed, some builders are holding back on bidding for new work because they have a shortage of skilled workers. With competition for both workers and public dollars at stake, builders need financial intel—and agility—more then ever. Colonial Surety is here to help with the value added services of The Partnership Account® . Once qualified, The Partnership Account® gives builders a surety line of credit—in writing—and a private digital dashboard, providing daily snapshots of single and aggregate limits and bond capacity. Go ahead: update work on hand, increase the aggregate and hit the green light on your next build.
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