By Kate Fox Wood, AEM Campaign Director, Infrastructure Vision 2050.
This year’s nationally recognized Infrastructure Week was May 15 – May 19 and couldn’t have been better timed. President Trump has continued to emphasize the importance of upgrading U.S. infrastructure and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are eager to tackle this important issue. As this year’s Infrastructure Week theme suggested, now is the perfect #TimetoBuild.
Here are four reasons (in no particular order of importance) for why it couldn’t be a better time to pass meaningful legislation to upgrade and modernize the U.S. infrastructure network of roads, highways, bridges, waterways, locks, dams, underground utility infrastructure and broadband.
1. We know we have a problem.
The sad state of U.S. infrastructure has been amply litigated. The case for investment and action has been made and supported with economic impact studies, report cards and warnings of what will happen if we don’t act. In the arena of Capitol Hill and public debate, the issue is settled. U.S. infrastructure needs help.
2. The American public wants action.
AEM conducted a national poll last summer that showed voters in the U.S. overwhelmingly support increased federal investment in our infrastructure. Subsequent surveys have indicated that prioritization has not wavered.
3. Infrastructure is bipartisan.
Infrastructure continues to serve as a unifying priority for Republicans and Democrats, as well as between the administration, the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. While lawmakers may not agree on much these days, infrastructure modernization is an opportunity for bipartisan consensus and progress.
4. The infrastructure tech revolution is here.
As was on full display in the Tech Experience at CONEXPO-CON/AGG, and is being demonstrated by AEM’s Infrastructure Vision 2050 and Thinking Forward initiatives, technology is driving the future for everything related to infrastructure. Ride sharing platforms such as Uber and Lyft and automated guidance systems are just the tip of the iceberg. We must get ready to embrace and adapt to the rapid pace of innovation taking place around how we move people and goods.
Through efforts such as personal visits to lawmakers, participation in policy discussions, and writing op-eds, AEM members will continue to remind state and federal legislators that it’s always the perfect #TimetoBuild.