With federal funds flowing into PA municipalities, there’s been much consideration over how these entities can leverage allocated money to improve various aspects of life for Pennsylvanians. From public health initiatives and assistance for essential workers to critical efforts to improve and modernize infrastructure, there’s no shortage of ways to put these funds to good use. 

Disbursement of Federal Funds

Over the summer, State Treasurer Stacy Garrity announced that the first payments under the American Rescue Plan Act’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program have been sent to qualifying Pennsylvania municipalities. PA counties, cities, boroughs and townships are eligible for $6.15 billion from the program. “It’s a top priority at Treasury,” Garrity said, “to make sure these payments get into the hands of local leaders quickly and efficiently so they can be used to help address the effects of the pandemic.”

Pennsylvania has more than 2,500 municipalities that qualify for these payments, and as the funds are rolled out, they can be used for:

  • Addressing negative economic impacts due to the pandemic
  • Replacing lost public sector revenue
  • Supporting public health
  • Assisting essential workers
  • Investing in infrastructure improvements, such as water, sewer or broadband services

In addition, the House passed a transportation bill involving key infrastructure investments for Pennsylvania. The INVEST in America Act is a surface transportation re-authorization package designed to create good-paying American jobs by: 

  • Rebuilding safe roads and bridges
  • Delivering reliable transit and modern passenger rail
  • Ensuring safe drinking water from the tap 

It’s been argued that this legislation invests in American manufacturing and makes the U.S. more competitive with smarter, safer, more resilient infrastructure that cuts carbon pollution. It’s also a major step toward enacting key priorities from the American Jobs Plan and bringing that federal money to Northeastern Pennsylvania. 

“This investment in our infrastructure will help modernize our roads, bridges, rail, water systems and sewer systems – all these things handed down from the Greatest Generation that we’ve allowed to fall into disrepair,” U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright explained. “On top of that, we’ve secured direct funding for projects all around Northeastern Pennsylvania that will improve the experience on our roads and public transit and create good-paying jobs.”

Where Do Fencing Projects Fit In?

As many PA municipalities look to begin infrastructure projects, especially those involving roadways, utility sites and municipal properties, one important aspect to consider is fencing. It is often the first line of defense against outside threats and unwanted access, and it’s an essential component to assuring the safety of workers, visitors and the general public. Fencing systems are paramount to protecting internal assets, safeguarding services and mitigating vulnerabilities. On highways and roadways, fencing structures are built to enhance safety, reduce noise, deter animals and delineate right-of-way designations. 

Fencing applications run the gamut of structures and grounds, many of which may be impacted by projects leveraging recently allocated federal funds. These might include:

  • Municipal buildings and properties
  • Roads
  • Bridges
  • Utility sites
  • Substation perimeters
  • Water storage tanks
  • Water tower enclosures
  • Water impoundments
  • Sewage treatment 
  • Telecommunications facilities
  • Temporary construction

Implementing Fencing Projects

As projects get underway in the wake of these funding opportunities, it will be necessary to understand the key role key role fencing structures play and how to implement fencing projects most effectively. There’s so much more to the decision-making and implementation process than what meets the eye.

Understanding the essential characteristics and different types of fencing for various applications is an important aspect, as is partnering with experienced fencing professionals. Following are some of the most incidental considerations to keep in mind.

  • Match the fencing design to the purpose. The foremost element to address is precisely what kind of property or facility requires fencing and what those specific needs entail. For instance, the type of fencing designed for a highway will differ considerably from the kind of fencing deployed for municipal buildings. These specifications will impact factors like materials, height specifications, security features and more. There may even be regulatory issues to consider. 
  • Understand the range of fencing materials. The market presents a myriad of fencing materials, construction and systems to meet different requirements for state and local projects. Each features its own characteristics and strengths, and is best suited for particular types of applications. Some of the most common include:
    • Chain Link 
    • Mesh Panel
    • Palisade
    • Concrete 
    • Vinyl
    • Aluminum 
  • Leverage added security elements where applicable. Depending on the particular purpose for the fencing project, there are a number of elements to evaluate and potentially incorporate, such as:
    • Electric current, razor wire or barbed wire
    • Anti-climb requirements
    • Lighting and surveillance equipment
    • Entry and exit systems or gates
    • Necessary vantage points
    • Need for resisting vehicular impact
    • Local site conditions, including wind and geotechnical information
    • Need for ground shock-resistant embankment structures
    • Physical scale of the property and extent of daily traffic
    • Need for fencing to blend in with its surroundings
  • Pay attention to site grading concerns. Depending on what type of ground the fencing is being installed upon, there may be issues with unevenness or sloping to address. In order to ensure a safe and sturdy installation of fencing that weathers the elements, the installation process should be carried out by an experienced team of security fencing professionals who intimately understand the proper handling of site grading concerns.
  • Focus on the quality and value of the product and installation. Especially when government funds are at play, it is essential to ensure that cost and value are aligned to fulfill the fencing’s purpose and meet the property’s requirements. That means opting for high-quality, durable materials and making application choices that meet necessary specs, environmental factors and the test of time. In both the implementation and completion of the project, the work must show a high quality of craftsmanship and a dedication to delivering on time and on budget.
  • Account for safety and environmental hazards. In the design and installation of fencing for various state and local projects, it’s essential to ensure that the process is managed by a team of professionals who prioritize safety and compliance. This equates to partnering with a fencing company that embraces a culture of safety through ongoing efforts. Making safety a part of the company’s daily routine is the best way to mitigate potential risks associated with this often dangerous kind of work.

When it comes to developing fencing for some of the state’s most critical infrastructure and contributing to various federally funded projects, it’s vital to work with the right professional for the job. Projects such as these require no less than expert recommendations on applications, creative solutions and the best methods to employ based on an evaluation of site-specific details. These are the hallmarks of a qualified, experienced company that will manage the job in accordance with proper standards.

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