Civil Engineering Perspective: 2019 to Continue 2018’s Upward Trend
2018 saw solid growth in Wyoming’s economy after the last economic downturn. While our economy wasn’t booming again, we saw a nice upward trend in the energy sector. In the third quarter of 2018, projects related to mineral extraction were on the rise creating more revenue for our state.
Creating new transmission lines that would allow energy resources in Wyoming to transport to other states, primarily in the western part of the country, has been in the works for nearly a decade. The current transmission grid is aging and, at times, operates at full capacity. The need for new transmission lines has been a top discussion point for many years and a few big power transmission projects are finally gaining traction. A key component to making the large transmission projects work is continued Wind Development with several projects currently in the works.
As WLC moves into the coming year, existing and new wind projects are already on the horizon. According to the Wyoming Coalition web site, Southern Wyoming has over 50% of the best-quality wind in the U.S. The wind energy, like mineral extraction, has the ability to create economic diversification, create new jobs, attract new industries, and expand Wyoming’s tax base. WLC has provided surveying and other services on many large wind projects in Wyoming and we hope to continue servicing this industry.
Municipal projects came back into play with Towns and Cities starting to gain confidence in their budgets and the economy. Many projects that were postponed due to uncertainty were started in 2018. We anticipate the initiation of more municipal projects in 2019 as local governments’ confidence continues to grow.
While residential and commercial development was still slow in 2018, several projects came on line. As the economy continues to grow, so should the need for residential and commercial development.
Overall, there is movement in our economy and WLC anticipates steady growth in the civil engineering industry.