Approved by the Infrastructure and Research Policy Committee on June 2, 2023
Approved by the Public Policy and Practice Committee on August 23, 2023
Adopted by the Board of Direction on October 17, 2023
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) believes infrastructure investment strengthens our country’s economic competitiveness, improves quality of life, and saves American families’ money. ASCE applauds federal and state lawmakers that supported the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and other revenue increases for our infrastructure systems, and encourages increased, long-term, consistent investment going forward.
Implementation of the 5-year, $1.2 trillion IIJA is a major step toward closing the $2.588 trillion, 10-year infrastructure investment gap. To continue this momentum, ASCE supports three key actions:
- Provide robust, sustained infrastructure investment for all infrastructure sectors. This includes regular reauthorizations and funding streams derived from “user pays” principles.
- Infrastructure investment should come from all levels of government, as well as the private sector. With each partner in the infrastructure space providing its fair share, decision-makers can leverage available funding and financing options such as dedicated user-fees, bonds, public-private partnerships, private investment, infrastructure banks, state and federal loan funds.
- Incorporate sustainability and resiliency into the rehabilitation and replacement of infrastructure. System-wide life-cycle cost analysis should be a part of every new or renewed infrastructure project. Infrastructure should be rebuilt to modern codes and standards.
America’s infrastructure includes all the facilities that serve aviation, bridges, broadband, dams, drinking water, energy, hazardous waste, inland waterways, levees, ports, parks, rail, roads, schools, transit, solid waste, wastewater, and other public and private facilities. The nation’s infrastructure is the foundation on which our national economy, global competitiveness, and quality of life depends.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021 included approximately $1.2 trillion funding for infrastructure. The IIJA begins to reverse decades of underinvestment in our country’s roads, water systems, and more. However, the federal investment must be maintained, as well as complemented by state and local funding, if long-term benefits are to be realized.
The ASCE 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gave the nation’s infrastructure a C- and estimated that $2.588 trillion will be needed by 2029 to bring the infrastructure to an acceptable condition. Neglect of this backlog will result in even greater costs to the nation. ASCE’s Failure to Act economic studies concluded that economic benefits of infrastructure investment are amplified through every sector of the economy while economic losses that come from deferred investment become worse over time.
The ASCE 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure laid out our vision for a 21st Century America that thrives because of high quality infrastructure. Infrastructure connects the nation’s businesses, communities, and people, driving our economy and improving our quality of life. For the U.S. economy to thrive, we need a first-class infrastructure system — transport systems that move people and goods sustainably, efficiently, and affordably by land, water, and air; energy transmission systems that deliver clean, reliable, low-cost power from a robust range of sources; and water systems that reliably and safely supply drinking water, protect water resources from pollution, and drive industrial processes. Yet today, our infrastructure systems are failing to keep pace with current and expanding needs.
ASCE Policy Statement 299
First Approved in 1985