10 U.S. Cities with the Biggest Infrastructure Budgets for 2017
Future infrastructure spending is anyone’ s guess — if Donald Trump’s proposed $1 trillion infrastructure investment plan comes to fruition, cranes could be dotting the skylines and dozers lining the roads of countless towns and cities.
But in the meantime, some cities have committed to huge 2017 capital investment plans that should make those metros a better place to live, work, play, or at the very least travel to and from. Here are 10 cities with big infrastructure budgets for the coming year.
1. New York City ($14.5 billion)
New York City plans to spend more than $1 billion on various utilities and wastewater projects. In summer hotspot, the Rockaways (Queens), a post-Hurricane Sandy reconstruction of the 5-mile boardwalk is underway ($341 million). Reconstruction of the third section of Manhattan’s High Line, the elevated-rail-turned-linear-park that has become a symbol for adaptive reuse nationwide, is also underway ($60 million).
2. Houston ($2.17 billion)
Everything is supposedly bigger in Texas, and it looks like infrastructure budgets are no exception. In 2017, Houston taxpayers can expect more than $730 million to go toward expansion and renovations at both major airports.
3. Chicago ($1.9 billion)
Like Houston, Chicago has set aside much of its 2017 infrastructure budget for work at its airports, Midway and O'Hare International. O’Hare will be getting a sixth runway, estimated to cost $648.5 million.
4. Phoenix ($1.27 billion)
The Valley of the Sun has set aside almost $100 million for a citywide upgrade of its internet technology and cybersecurity systems, as well as $80 million for park acquisitions and enhancements.
5. Washington, D.C. ($1.25 billion)
Always at the center of global events, the District has to ensure that dignitaries and residents alike can get to where they're going with minimum hassle, which is why Metrorail and Circulator riders can expect a combined $1.5 billion in safety and system improvements this year.
6. Seattle ($1.10 billion)
Like Washington, D.C., Seattle has made getting around the city a 2017 budgetary priority, with nearly $227 million appropriated to transportation.
8. Austin (681.62 million)
Austin is easing the way for both leisure and business visitors with a major spend — $276 million — on improvements to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
9. San Antonio ($585 million)
The home of the Alamo allocated $186 million to new and upgraded streets, the biggest line item in the city's 2017 budget.
10. Dallas ($524.67 million)
Finally, the Big D has dedicated 70 percent of its capital spend to programs that promote "economic vibrancy," such as upgrades and maintenance at historic Love Field.
By Kim Slowey
Kim Slowey is a writer who has been active in the construction industry for 25 years and is licensed as a certified general contractor in Florida. She received her BA in Mass Communications/Journalism from the University of South Florida and has experience in both commercial and residential construction.