News Archive

$305B Signed Road Construction Bill Sets Greater Need for Auger Piling Equipment
Monday, April 11, 2016

In early December 2015, President Obama signed a five-year bill that will amount to $305 billion being spent with respect to the nation’s highways and transit routes. The new law has been named Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or the FAST Act, and it will be funded by the collection of a gas tax in the amount of 18.4 cents per gallon. 

The last-minute signing solidified the country’s road and transit spending for the upcoming years. As the weather warms up across the nation, these dollars are going to be put to maximum use in road construction projects. And auger piling equipment will lie at the forefront of those efforts.

In reporting the bill’s signage, “The Hill” ( broke down the figure this way: It “calls for spending approximately $205 billion on highways and $48 billion on transit projects over the next five years.” The passing of the law was a long time coming too. In fact, prior to President Obama putting his John Hancock on it, long-term measures regarding national transportation spending had not been put in place for over a decade. Indeed, the last longstanding initiative was instituted in 2005. In its place, a string of “short stopgap funding fixes” were utilized as “temporary patches” to the country’s transit issues.

Since entering office, “Obama has railed against [such] short-term patches,” the U.S. political website reported. In fact, he wanted a longer and larger budget signed. However, the push “fell short of a six-year, $478 billion proposal he sent to Congress earlier this year.”

How specifically does the president see these $305 billion being spent? In addition to creating jobs with it, “I look forward to … rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, and transit systems,” Obama said in a statement following the signing.

To accomplish these aims, the U.S. transportation department is going to need to up its reliance on auger pile flighting and screws. According to the National Ground Water Association’s “Drilling with Augers and Buckets” white paper, “Auger drilling has become “much more specialized” in recent years, “branching off in [several] new areas.” One such area is geotechnical drilling, which the association describes this way: “Holes are drilled to get information on the layers of soil, mostly used for foundation design and road construction.”

As Obama’s tenure as U.S. president moves into its final months, he has “said he will keep pushing Congress to come up with more sustainable way to pay for transportation projects than the patchwork of funding mechanisms lawmakers turned to pay for the measure he signed into law” in December. If his efforts prove successful, auger piling and flighting could become more permanent fixtures on the nation’s highways and byways.

As they do, scenes like this one in Las Vegas, Nevada earlier this year will become more commonplace: “eastbound left shoulder adjacent travel lane closure for auger removal and backfilling.” But don’t take things out too hard on the auger piles for your delays. In the long run, their presence on the highways will lead to smoother and faster commute times!