Construction Technology/News

Construction Industry Trends: April 2024 Roundup


April was a month of planning and progress for the construction industry. Major projects were proposed while others’ preliminary plans were approved. Federal funds continued to push on-shore chip manufacturing, while Key Bridge rebuilding planning moved forward. Here’s what happened in April 2024.

Chicago's Soldier Field stadium.

Chicago Bears Newest Game Plan? A $4.2B Stadium

The Chicago Bears drew up a new plan recently, but there aren’t any X’s, O’s, or passing routes to discuss. The new plan is a brand new stadium, including state-of-the-art facilities, a fixed-roof enclosure, and multi-sport flexibility on Chicago’s lakefront. The project’s name? The Burnham Park Project.

The Burnham Park Project’s plans were released in late April and include 14 acres of recreational and athletic space. There will be several soccer and baseball fields, providing high-quality and safe spaces for local youth programs to play. There will also be lakefront shopping and outdoor experiences available for visitors, as well as the potential for a new hotel. Inside the new facility, there will be room for Super Bowl-level attendance, college Final Four tournaments, and more.

The project should total $4.2B. The Bears are investing $2B of their own, while public infrastructure funds and the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority are prepared to invest $1.5B and $900M, respectively.

Key Bridge: Six Weeks Later

Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed after being struck by a container ship on March 27, 2024. The lives of six construction workers were claimed in the accident, and the ninth-busiest port in the country, the Port of Baltimore, came to a screeching halt. It was a tragic accident, and the current infrastructure issues have the focus of local municipalities, city, and federal governments. Here’s where things stand nearly six weeks later:

  • Five of the six workers’ bodies have been recovered from the water. The sixth worker, Jose Mynor Lopez, hasn’t been found yet.
  • In early April, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a tentative timeline that could have the port reopened to shipping traffic within four weeks. As of the time of this report, there are four temporary channels open.
  • President Biden has promised that the federal government will pay to rebuild the bridge with union labor and American steel. Estimates for the total cost are between $1.7B and $1.9B, with a completion date of fall 2028.
  • There will be a virtual industry forum held on May 7th to further discuss the bridge plans.

    The Dali, the ship out of Singapore that struck the bridge, was loaded with containers. Crews have been working tirelessly to remove the containers so the ship can float again. It is believed that enough containers have been removed to allow the ship to float once the steel on top of the ship is removed.

    Billions in Government Funding Offered for Onshore Chip Manufacturing

    Onshore microchip manufacturing continues to be a focus of the current presidential administration. Two massive agreements offered $11B in funding to two major manufacturers in order to increase interest and spending in their corresponding states.

    The first manufacturer, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, was offered $6.6B in federal funding, as well as an additional $5B in low-cost government loans, to build an additional fabrication facility in Arizona. This facility will be the third of its type, which the Biden administration hopes will help the U.S. catch up to offshore chip manufacturing and can create up to 20,000 unique construction jobs.

    Samsung will also receive federal funds for its Texas fabrication facility construction, to the tune of $6.4Bin direct funding. This investment aims to supplement Samsung’s $40B investment, which includes two facilities that will be operational by 2026 and 2027. Construction job creation estimates are around 17,000, while manufacturing job creations are estimated to reach 4,500.

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    Ron is a Content Manager & SEO Strategist for Trimble Viewpoint. A professional writer for more than 10 years, his focus is now on showcasing the benefits of the industry's top connected construction software platform: Trimble Construction One.