The U.S. election could bring about a surge in infrastructure spending. Here's how to play it

A contractor works on highway construction near Portsmouth, Ohio.
Ty Wright | Bloomberg | Getty Images

(CNBC Pro is looking at the most important investing angles surrounding the election. For the complete investor's guide, see here.)

Tuesday's election could usher in a new era for the U.S. infrastructure industry, boosting stocks as varied as new-age energy plays and historic construction companies.

The combination of a dwindling highway trust fund, high unemployment and Democrats' desire for more green energy initiatives has created an expectation of large-scale government spending. Investment firm Jefferies, for example, said in October that the chances for increased federal spending on infrastructure were "the brightest in recent memory."

Democrat Joe Biden's infrastructure plan, as outlined on his website and the campaign trail, is wrapped together with green energy initiatives in a $2 trillion package. It calls for spending on roads, bridges, transit and the electric grid, among other things. Goldman Sachs said in an Oct. 19 note that it expected the plan to result in "a few hundred billion dollars" of infrastructure spending over Biden's term, with additional money and tax credits for green energy projects.

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has repeatedly floated the idea of a major infrastructure plan during his tenure, with proposals coming from the GOP-controlled Senate and the Democratic House, but no deal has come to fruition.

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