More Public Works Projects Delayed Due to Material Costs

Inflation and supply chain issues have forced the Idaho Transportation Department to put construction on an interchange in the state on hold.

Source : Wikimedia Commons

April 28, 2022

Author : Alex Bustillos

The project was to be a collaboration between the Nez Perce Tribe and the Idaho Department of Transportation, and it was supposed to start this Spring.

Despite being funded to the tune of $19 million dollars in a grant from the US Department of Transportation, costs have made the project unfeasible for the time being.

“Our goal was to start construction on the interchange this spring, but prices on materials have compelled both parties to step back and consider how to move forward,” Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) District Engineer Doral Hoff said.

“The Tribe and ITD are still committed to working together to see this project through, despite any funding challenges,” Nez Perce Tribe Transportation Manager Mary Beth Frank Clark said. 

The tribe upped its portion of the project costs to $1.2 million following initial price increases but “more recent estimates call for another $5.5 million,” ITD said.

Authorities have applied for more federal funding, but they won’t have an answer on whether it’s approved until the Summer. If it is approved, the project may go ahead then.

But according to ITD, it’s not the only project that has been delayed “due to cost increases”: last week a bid was rejected on an 8-mile resurfacing project for the same reason.

“Inflation and supply chain issues continue to make construction a challenging time for transportation departments across the nation,” ITD District Engineer Hoff said. “At ITD we budget increases for every project every year due to inflation, but we were not expecting such severe circumstances.”

As Contractor News recently reported, contractors fear that the Biden Administration’s “Buy America” mandate will worsen supply chain problems.

“Supply chain shortages are already prompting firms to avoid bidding on new projects, as the Army Corps of Engineers discovered on a recent project that received zero bids because of concrete scarcities in parts of the country,” wrote Stephen E. Sandherr, Chief Executive of the Associated General Contractors of America.

Additionally, Contractor News reported that rising inflation caused the delay of construction of a courthouse in Florida back in February 2022. According to Trading Economics, inflation has only increased since then.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Category : Investment in Infrastructure State Government Freeways and Highways Public Works

Related Article