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Local Impact of a Federal Infrastructure Bill

Albert E. Dotson, Jr.

Recently, in our P3 Focus Blog, we pointed out that now is the perfect time for a federal infrastructure bill. Such a bill would jump-start the economy, begin to close the infrastructure gap that currently exists, and do it all at a time where these projects could be expedited because of low usage rates due to the pandemic.

Miami-Dade County is the prime example of where new infrastructure dollars could make a big impact. The County’s Strategic Miami Area Rapid Transit Plan contemplates federal funding for a number of its corridors. This funding would specifically benefit construction of rapid transit for the North Corridor, which would link Miami International Airport to the northern part of the County, near Hard Rock Stadium. Metrorail, as opposed to bus rapid transit, will likely only be an option for that corridor if the federal government provides funding. There are many other projects in the pipeline that would benefit from a federal infrastructure stimulus. For example, the County is currently evaluating proposals for the Miami International Airport Capital Improvement Program, which is a multi-billion dollar program that will modernize the airport and greatly increase its capacity. The County could also put this funding towards the overhaul of its water and sewer system, which is in need of several billion dollars of critical repairs and upgrades.

Clearly, the County has billions of dollars worth of projects in the pipeline that will only be improved and completed more efficiently with the passage of a federal infrastructure bill. Some would argue that the effect of the ongoing pandemic alone necessitates the economic stimulus that would result from a federal infrastructure bill. However, taken out of the current economic context, now is the time for the federal government to provide the long-promised infusion of federal infrastructure funding for the simple fact that places like the County have recognized that the time for improving and investing in infrastructure is past due, and are taking action to fix it.

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