Mining, construction leaders say infrastructure bill could bring big benefits

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The steel industry is seeing strong demand now. But much more steel will be needed due to the infrastructure bill.

John Arbogast, co-chair of the Iron Ore Alliance, said, "We are going to rebuild all of these things, and the steel industry starts here on the Iron Range, with our taconite."

He’s hopeful it will provide some stability for years to come, in what can be a cyclical industry with ups and downs.

Then, someone is going to have to put the projects together. And that means a boost for construction companies.

Kirk Ilenda, Business Development Director for Lakehead Constructors, added, "A lot of information is coming in, but it’s really good news for all of us in construction."

There are plenty of big projects already underway, like the Superior refinery rebuild and Vision Northland.

In his 25 years of experience, he hasn’t seen this many big cranes around town. So there is the possibility they can ride this boom in the industry, with the infrastructure projects ahead.

"I think a lot of us in the construction world are looking at 2022, and it looks positive. So then maybe you’re forecasting 3-5% growth. Then you add the infrastructure bill, and it’s a different conversation now. Might need to even add employees or equipment, to position yourself for the coming work," he added.

President Biden is expected to sign the bill next week.