Infrastructure Holds Top Spot Among Us Mayors’ Priorities: NLC Reports

Infrastructure has become one of the leading priorities for Mayors across the United States. These mayors are focused on city budgets and public safety, the annual report says in its 10th iteration.

According to Construction Dive, mayors’ years-long focus on infrastructure can likely be chalked up to the massive influx of federal funding from the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law, Omeyr said. “[Cities] have the money to invest in their infrastructure, much-neglected infrastructure,” he said. However, before the infrastructure law, cities “didn’t have much money to invest,” he said, so mayors didn’t talk about infrastructure as much in their public speeches.

The report says that cities are investing their newfound federal dollars in projects that improve roads, bridges, water systems, broadband access and climate resilience. Most cities (more than 85%) indicated that street, road and water system improvements take high priority.

Phoenix, for example, is “using Bipartisan Infrastructure Law dollars to modernize the foundation of the city itself,” Mayor Kate Gallego said in her April State of the City address, including its water system and light rail.

It remains to be seen if mayors’ focus on infrastructure will last once cities deplete the existing federal infrastructure dollars, Omeyr said. “Will cities continue to talk about this issue and elevate the problems with infrastructure?” he said. “Or will they put it on the back burner again?

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