Approved by the National Infrastructure and Research Policy Committee on August 2, 2010
Approved by the Policy Review Committee on September 1, 2010
Adopted by the Board of Direction on October 19, 2010
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports actions by federal, state and local governments to meet America’s infrastructure needs as cost effectively as possible. These actions should support sound project and program management, including new service and delivery models, innovative financing, appropriate research and technology transfer, and conform to the principles of sustainability. Emphasis should also be placed on projects that support the public health, safety, and welfare.
America’s infrastructure includes highways, streets, public buildings, mass transportation facilities, resource recovery facilities, air transport facilities, water systems, waste disposal and treatment facilities, dams, levees, ports and waterways, and other public facilities. While taken for granted by most Americans, this infrastructure is the foundation on which our national economy, global competitiveness, and quality of life depends. If the economy is to grow and prosper, so must the services provided by these assets. At the same time, the U.S. must consider alternate delivery models and invest in the transformative technologies that will be necessary to support a post-industrial, 21st Century economy
Infrastructure has not kept up with either the demand for new facilities and services or the maintenance and repair needs of aging systems. The results can be seen in traffic and airport congestion, unsafe bridges and dams, substandard educational facilities, deteriorating roads and inadequate utilities. The 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure estimates that $2.2 trillion (up from $1.6 trillion in 2005) will be needed over the next 5 years to bring the Nation’s infrastructure to an acceptable condition. Ignoring this backlog until systems fail will incur even greater costs.
ASCE is concerned with the general reduction in investment for the preservation and enhancement of America’s infrastructure, the lack of creativity in solving the problem by the existing service delivery institutions and the impact that the continued and accelerating deterioration of this infrastructure will have on our quality of life, and with the maintenance of U.S. competitiveness in the world markets.
ASCE supports coordinated efforts to develop a responsible partnership among all levels of government, the research community, other professional organizations, and private investors to achieve and maintain the efficient and effective delivery of infrastructure services.
ASCE is committed to expanding its role in the partnership in areas where the Society can provide leadership to promote such goals as encouraging civil engineering research, setting priorities based on performance and service, supporting innovative financing, and service delivery models promoting technology transfer and supporting sustainable urban development.
ASCE Policy Statement 299