Bridging the Gap: Economic Impacts of National Infrastructure Investment

For the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), EBP assessed the long-term effects of infrastructure investments on the national economy in the following categories: roadway, transit, bridge, inter-city passenger rail, water, electricity, airports and seaports and inland ports & waterways. This Report covers the effects that would be found from now until 2024-2043.

Since EBP's 2021 study for ASCE assessing the nation’s infrastructure investment gap, Congress passed two sweeping packages dedicated to improving the networks that safely move people and goods across the country, provide clean drinking water to millions of Americans, and ensure that our households and businesses have reliable electricity. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) in 2021 and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in 2022 have set a new standard for federal infrastructure spending. However, both bills will expire in 2026 and Congress will be tasked with deciding how these programs will be funded going forward. The funding has provided an initial and consequential step in bridging the funding gap between the nation’s infrastructure needs and investment. Though a funding gap remains, this study reflects the potential economic effects of the new funding levels and represents ASCE’s first assessment of the impacts that the IIJA and the IRA can be expected to have over the next 10 to 20 years.

EBP modeled two scenarios: Continuing to Act (Assumes that spending appropriated for IIJA from 2022-2026 becomes the new baseline for annual capital investment through 2043) and Snapback (IIJA’s authorized spending continues through 2026. In 2027, infrastructure spending reverts to 2019 levels prior to passage of the IIJA and other major spending bills, inclusive of the Fast Act 2016-2020).

To evaluate each scenario the team: 
•    Estimated total needs for each infrastructure type 
•    Projected funding for each infrastructure type under each scenario

This established the projected investment gaps for the various infrastructure types though 2043 under each scenario.  

In Phase 2, EBP estimated (1) the costs to industries and households due to inefficiencies in infrastructure as represented by the gaps and (2) the impacts of those costs to the US economy.

In addition to the 2021 Failure to Act Infrastructure study that EBP developed for ASCE, the firm also produced earlier versions in 2012 and 2016.