More sprinkles? Are you kidding me?

October 13, 2011

I'll pass on the sprinkles. Do not bother to put them on my birthday cupcake, and please do not put them on my ice cream. 

The Obama administration, on the other hand, appears to be a big fan of the little pieces of rainbow colors, at least when it comes the road and bridge industry. Its first major move was the passage of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, which supplied a dash of badly needed funding to overlay projects and bridge repair jobs across the nation. Over the last two years, the U.S. DOT has been passing out TIGER grants, which, again, have served as little tasty morsels for the transportation sector. More recently, President Barack Obama announced his jobs bill, and in it contained, yes, another highway-funding appetizer. Then on Oct. 11 this embattled Administration revealed that 14 infrastructure jobs, including five in the road and bridge industry, will be expedited so people could get to work faster and the economy could continue its slow recovery.
However, the truth is all of these small minor moves have made a tiny impact on state DOTs, design firms and, most importantly, contractors. And yet the Obama administration burned gallons of valuable political energy to present and pass all of them. Just think where we would be if the White House would have funneled that precious political will into passing a new long-term highway bill. Instead of pushing for the sprinkles, the Administration should have stressed the reauthorization from the get-go, and perhaps threatened a Congressional stand-off. 
You see, I like my cupcakes to be covered in thick icing. I like my ice cream to be covered in thick caramel. The Obama Administration needed to lay it on thick.
Bill Wilson
Bill Wilson
Bill Wilson

Bill Wilson is the editorial director of ROADS & BRIDGES magazine and has been covering the industry since 1999. He has won seven Robert F. Boger Awards for editorial excellence, including three in 2011. He also was the creator of the Top 10, Contractor's Choice Awards and Recycling Awards platforms, as well as ROADS & BRIDGES Live.

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