The following is a statement by Maria Lehman, Past-President, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE):
WASHINGTON — ASCE is proud to honor President Joseph R. Biden with the 2023 ASCE President’s Medal for his role in advancing America’s infrastructure systems with the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). As a member of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC), I am grateful for the opportunity to present President Biden with this honor earlier today.
The President’s steadfast support for the IIJA demonstrates his Administration’s understanding of the important role infrastructure plays in the health, safety, and welfare of American communities. Continued successful implementation of the law will allow every community in the United States to benefit from the record investments in roads, bridges, drinking water, and other infrastructure systems, along with resilience measures to protect these structures now and in the future.
Infrastructure deficiencies cost everyone valuable time and money. ASCE's Failure to Act economic study found that insufficient infrastructure costs each American household $3,300 per year. Whether it is water main leaks preventing treated water from ever reaching homes and businesses or paying for unplanned repairs on your car because of poor road conditions, underinvestment in America’s infrastructure serves as a hidden tax we all pay.
Since 1998, ASCE’s quadrennial Report Card for America’s Infrastructure has served as a call to action for Congress and the Administrations to prioritize America’s infrastructure, and passage of the IIJA signified those calls were answered. While the 2021 grade of ‘C-’ is the highest grade yet, ASCE believes our country can, and will do better.
The Society thanks President Biden for his leadership and bipartisan efforts to get this landmark piece of legislation across the finish line. We will continue to work with the administration to promote best practices for efficient implementation of the IIJA and any future legislation that supports the nation’s built environment.
About the American Society of Civil Engineers
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE works to raise awareness of the need to maintain and modernize the nation's infrastructure using sustainable and resilient practices, advocates for increasing and optimizing investment in infrastructure, and improve engineering knowledge and competency. For more information, visit www.asce.org or www.infrastructurereportcard.org and follow us on Twitter, @ASCETweets and @ASCEGovRel.