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February 2, 2009 - ASCE Letter - increase funding, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Program

February 2, 2009

The Honorable Mary Landrieu
328 Hart Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Landrieu: 

On behalf of the more than 146,000 members of the American Society of Civil Engineers
(ASCE), I am writing to commend your leadership in developing legislation to respond to the
nation’s economic crisis. In particular, we want to offer our strong support for your amendment
to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act increase funding for the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers Civil Works program when the bill comes to the Senate floor this week.

ASCE is particularly concerned with the parlous state of America’s inland waterways. Just last
week, we released our 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, which gave 15
infrastructure systems an overall grade of D. Of relevance to your initiative, we gave the
nation’s inland waterways a D- due to the perennial lack of basic investment in their
infrastructure. The nation must invest $20.5 billion over the next five years over and above
current federal, state, and local spending to bring the waterways into good condition.

Your amendment, which would increase the proposed Civil Works funding in the bill from $4.6
billion to approximately $11.5 billion, would begin the close the investment “gap.” We hope
Congress also will see fit to release some of the funding for previously authorized projects.
Nevertheless, the funding you propose is absolutely essential in order to address the
construction backlog, promote trade and industry and protect public safety. This investment in
domestic infrastructure will pay enormous economic dividends in the future. Equally
importantly, it is the type of investment that actually creates jobs, that puts real people to work in
America because, unlike so much else in the recovery package, these jobs cannot be
outsourced.

Please contact Brian Pallasch, Managing Director of Government Relations and Infrastructure
Initiatives, at 202-789-7843, or Steven Fier, Director of Federal Relations, at 202-789-7841 if we
can be of assistance with this important legislation.

Sincerely yours,

D. Wayne Klotz, P.E., D.WRE
President