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From the Editor
By Corinna Petry

dvocates for metals consumption issued statements of strong support after the Senate passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which was to be reviewed by the U.S. House of Representatives during the last days of August.

“We applaud the Senate for advancing this bipartisan legislation that will spur economic growth and job creation throughout the country,” says Kevin Dempsey, president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute, Washington, D.C.

“Passage of this bill gets us one step closer to making long overdue investments in our nation’s roads, bridges, transit systems and other essential infrastructure using American-made steel.“

The American Institute of Steel Construction, Chicago, and the National Steel Bridge Alliance note that the legislation includes more than $110 billion to replace and repair bridges, highways and roads. “This investment in America’s roads and bridges is long overdue, and [the] fabricated structural steel industry is standing by to answer the call,” says Max Puchtel, AISC’s director of government relations and sustainability.

The U.S. structural steel industry directly supports around 200,000 jobs in almost every Congressional district, Puchtel notes. AISC represents nearly 1,000 U.S. businesses that fabricate and install structural steel into America’s steel bridges, infrastructure projects and skylines.

Bridge support collumns
this investment is long overdue.
From Pittsburgh, United Steelworkers International President Tom Conway says that USW members already provide “the essential building blocks of a modern infrastructure, from the steel that goes into our bridges, to the pipes that carry our water, to the fiber optic glass that keeps us connected.”

A comprehensive infrastructure investment that draws on the goods and services American workers supply “will promote widespread job growth and economic opportunity,” he says.

Tom Dobbins, president and CEO of the Aluminum Association, wrote to Congress to express the industry’s backing for a once-in-a-generation infrastructure investment that “will make our nation more resilient, our climate cleaner, and our economy more competitive.”

The bipartisan package includes historic investments in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, aluminum bridge funding, investments in solar power, electricity transmission lines and in making buildings more efficient, Dobbins’ letter states.

“Our industry has developed aluminum alloys that allow for reduced maintenance and a greater service lifespan at a cheaper cost over the entire life cycle of a bridge. The $40 billion of [additional] bridge funding is vital to our industry,” he says.

What remains in the Senate bill after the House works on it—and what gets left out— is important but not as crucial as getting any new funding, which will help companies move goods more effectively, create greater safety for everyone, and foster a more environmentally responsible economy.

The City of Chicago, where I live, has more than 300 bridge and viaduct structures, including 37 movable bridges along the Chicago and Calumet rivers. We traverse them daily, hourly. They support us. #BridgeLove