As part of its approach to infrastructure projects, Kentucky uses a scoring process called SHIFT to set their order of priority. Each potential project is rated according to cost benefit, safety impact, preservation of existing infrastructure, how it reduces congestion and how it promotes economic growth.
Once infrastructure projects have been vetted and added to the state's agenda, the ability to carry out more of them under a design-build contract should help the state stay within budget. Because the design phase under this method has collaboration between contractor and designer at its core, many of the costly design errors that pop up during the course of construction can be eliminated. Not all states allow the design-build process for public work, however, but that is typically dependent on procurement laws.
Shouldering a greater percentage of the financial burden for infrastructure projects is in the cards for U.S. states, as President Donald Trump's infrastructure plan calls on states to provide more funding of their own if they want to win federal dollars. There are many states, though, like California, that already have raised gas taxes and user fees in order to launch huge infrastructure initiatives. While upping gas taxes at both state and federal levels is always controversial, a few polls last year, such as one from Bloomberg and one from HNTB, revealed that taxpayers don't mind paying more if the extra money is dedicated to improving the infrastructure they use every day.
Source: Morehead State Public Radio
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