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President Continues Push for Infrastructure Investment

BY 
November 7, 2011

In 1947, the home of Francis Scott Key, author of the “Star Spangled Banner”, was set to be demolished after several unsuccessful bids to restore it by the historic community of Georgetown. The home of the poet and patriot was eventually leveled, but after many years the Francis Scott Key Bridge was erected to span the Potomac and connect Rosslyn with Washington DC, serving as both a major artery for transportation and commerce as well as a memorial to the father of our national anthem.

President Obama delivers his speech in front of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Washington

Now, 80 years after its completion in 1923, the bridge has been deemed structurally deficient by the Department of Transportation and is one of the thousands of decrepit bridges that the American Society of Civil Engineers says has earned America a “C” on the national status of our bridges. More currently, it was also the backdrop of a speech President Obama gave last Wednesday about the need for sustained infrastructure funding and the potential, according to a recent Forbes article, to create 27 million new jobs if adequately invested. In addition, the president also outlined his plan to expedite the flow of cash to shovel-ready projects that will fix our failing infrastructure and put Americans back to work.

Having the ability to enjoy a beautiful morning and hear the President of the United States cite ASCE’s work and quote from our studies was a definitive reward, and a reminder that we provide powerful tools and information for our leaders in business and government. If you’d like to keep up on transportation and infrastructure related news and noteworthy items, you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter and ASCE members should join the Key Contact Program.

As we move closer into the 2012 election year and inevitable spin zone and misinformation festival that will ensue, I’ll end with a quote from Ronald Reagan, which President Obama quoted in his speech yesterday:

“The bridges and highways we fail to repair today will have to be rebuilt tomorrow at many times the cost.”

The 2.2 trillion dollars ASCE estimates is required over 5 years to update and repair our infrastructure is the fulfillment of this prophecy. The longer we wait to pull our act together and agree, the more we will have to pay to address our infrastructure needs.

5 Comments
  • I have developed a way to fund $10 billion for infrastructure each year and create 130,000 jobs each year using private funds only and without cost to the feds, states, ever. In addition, there will never be a need for tolls or fees to retire any debt. The method, American Infrastructure Bond Method® or AIBs® is self financing and will not impact the federal deficit or annual budget one cent. If anyone has an interest please contact me at mikerinella@aol.com.
    Mike Rinella
    Schenectady, NY

    PS: I know the above statement is counterintuitive; ie, $10 billion each year at no cost. So is the business of the US Patent Office and nearly all cutting edge research; why should finance be any different?

  • If there is something good, that could be done in state is a good infrastructure. I mean, I’m not that much obsessed with a need of a bridges and roads, cause my work is near home, but the rest of people? They have to go back and forth every day, and they need a good road. Otherwise it’s a time wasting machine, and there is nothing more expensive than time today. So he is doing a great work.

  • We need to engage all stakeholders, including all levels of government, public entities, private sector (small businesses to corporations), universities (with innovation capacity and know-how), and local residents towards attention and action to delivering and maintaining our roadways, electric and broadband lines, railways, water pipes, and many others.
    The fact is that a number of constructions are now a couple of centuries old which demands more investment plus the infrastructure has been our identity.

  • I believe, the president deserves a lot of appreciation for all his efforts. All praise to him for open and clear stand on his infrastructural investments. The fact is that a number of constructions are now a couple of centuries old which demands more investment plus the infrastructure has been our identity. Hats Off to him for his concern in the same. The failing infra structure makes his efforts all the more important.

  • This President must be commended in discussing openly in public the infrastructure problem in our nation. This situation has long been left, as engineering literature cites, to overuse, mismanagement, misuse, exposure, and abandonment. It has become an elephant in the room, never a topic in debates and rarely in media. We need to engage all stakeholders, including all levels of government, public entities, private sector (small businesses to corporations), universities (with innovation capacity and know-how), and local residents towards attention and action to delivering and maintaining our roadways, electric and broadband lines, railways, water pipes, and many others.

    But you ask, okay, we know this, but how? As a graduate student in economics who researches transportation and infrastructure, I recently developed a database-driven, one-stop website, http://www.infrainput.org, that may do a small part in engaging stakeholders. It allows any user of infrastructure (from local resident to supply chain operators) to input their issues and ideas across an array of infrastructure facilities from airports to water pipes. InfraInput.org provides a transparent, user-friendly interface for citizens to report anonymously (no username or password) issues and ideas, so their cities, metropolitan areas, and states can learn of pressing issues and eye-opening ideas to better manage their systems. Now, state legislatures to Washington policymakers can have evidence-driven output tables to better implement effective policy.

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