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March 10, 2011
The Honorable John Kerry
218 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Kerry:
I am writing on behalf of the more than 140,000 members of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to applaud your sponsorship of the Building and Upgrading Infrastructure for Long-Term Development (BUILD) Act of 2011. This legislation is a major step forward in providing meaningful financial assistance to the nation’s failing infrastructure.
ASCE concluded in our 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure that the nation’s infrastructure deserved an overall grade of “D.” We said then that America’s aging and overburdened infrastructure threatens the economy and quality of life in every state, city, and town in the nation and this remains true today. We estimate that an investment of $2.2 trillion over a five-year period is needed to bring the nation's infrastructure into “good” working order.
The creation of an American Infrastructure Bank to leverage public funds with private dollars to invest in transportation, water, wastewater, environmental, energy and telecommunications projects could play a significant role in improving the nation’s infrastructure. Given the current economic climate and the desire to “do more with less”, the ability to leverage private capital with public fundswill provide opportunities to overcome the nation’s infrastructure deficit, while creating American jobs. A sustained effort is needed to repair and maintain the economically vital infrastructure systems of our nation. We cannot afford to wait to invest significant sums in our infrastructure and your bill will lead the way.
Please do not hesitate to contact Caroline Macheska, ASCE Manager of Federal Government Relations, of our Washington office at 202-789-7852 or firstname.lastname@example.org if we can be of any assistance in passing this important legislation.
Kathy Caldwell, P.E., F.ASCE