February 2010 Volume 35, Number 2
In response to President Obama’s comments on infrastructure in his State of the Union address, ASCE has issued the following statement from President Blaine D. Leonard, P.E., D.GE, F.ASCE:
We appreciate that the President mentioned in his address that railroads and the interstate highway system are critical investments in American infrastructure. He also spoke about how investments in infrastructure are investments in nation building. But the fact is, in recent decades we’ve stopped investing in our future. We are still driving on Eisenhower’s roads and sending our kids to Roosevelt’s schools.
The broken water mains, gridlocked streets, crumbling dams and levees, and delayed flights that come from failing infrastructure have a negative impact on the checkbook and on the quality of life of each and every American. Investing in America’s infrastructure will support and create jobs—an essential function for economic recovery—as well as bring tangible personal benefits to Americans, for example, safer communities, less money spent on gas, and more time with our families due to shorter commutes.
The president’s leadership on infrastructure is essential for our future prosperity. We need a bipartisan commitment to create a long-term plan for our infrastructure, one that includes sufficient funding levels and dedicated revenue sources. Without that, anything we do now will be nothing more than a Band-Aid.