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January 26, 2009 - ASCE Letter - support of H.R. 1, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

January 26, 2009

The Honorable Daniel Inouye                         The Honorable Thad Cochran
Chairman                                                     Ranking Member
Committee on Appropriations                        Committee on Appropriations
U.S. Senate                                                  U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510                               Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Mr. Chairman:                                       Dear Senator Cochran:

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.

ASCE is especially concerned with the parlous state of America’s infrastructure, which
received an overall grade of D in our last Report Card for America’s Infrastructure four
years ago. Our highways, bridges, wastewater treatment systems, dams, airports,
public transit, and other basic systems have suffered from severe under investment in
recent decades.

As the Committee prepares to mark up your bill calling for an estimated investment of
$76.5 billion in these essential public works programs, we strongly support an increase
of $27 billion above the proposed bill levels for critical infrastructure.

We urge an additional $24 billion above the $6 billion proposed for Clean Water Act and
Safe Drinking Water Act infrastructure. This would provide a total of $30 billion for
ready-to-go wastewater and drinking-water treatment infrastructure. We also support
an increase of $2.4 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide a minimum
of $7 billion to rebuild the nation’s inland waterways, many of which are badly outdated
and in a state of decline. We support an additional appropriation of $600 million for the
Bureau of Reclamation to provide a total of $2 billion for water resources infrastructure
in the West. 

These and other investments in domestic infrastructure will pay enormous economic
dividends in the future. These are the investments that actually create the jobs, that put
real people to work in America because, unlike anything else in the recovery package,
these jobs can't be outsourced.

ASCE is ready to help Congress enact this significant legislation to preserve the public
health, safety, and welfare and create millions of new jobs. Please do not hesitate to
contact Brian Pallasch, Managing Editor of Government Relations and Infrastructure
Initiatives, at 202-789-7843, or at, or Steven Fier, Director of
Federal Relations, at 202-789-7841 or .

Sincerely yours,

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