The following is a statement from Gregory E. DiLoreto, P.E., P.L.S, D.WRE, president of The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), regarding President Obama’s State of the Union address:
“As stewards of our nation’s infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers applauds President Obama’s efforts to improve our country’s ailing infrastructure and get America back to work. Infrastructure is the foundation of our communities, and without it, our businesses, schools, and our everyday lives cease to function.
“The President said it himself; we have an ‘aging infrastructure badly in need of repair.’ Simply, we must invest in our roads, bridges, ports, and water systems. This will help us build a 21st Century America for an ever-changing 21st Century economy.
“In a first-of-its-kind economic report on our failure to invest in infrastructure, ASCE has found that infrastructure investment is inherently linked to our nation’s economic success. The Failure to Act report found that if we fill our infrastructure funding gap by 2020, the U.S. can eliminate potential drags on economic growth, protect 3.5 million jobs, and protect $3,100 in annual personal disposable income.
“President Obama’s ‘Fix-It-First’ plan is a great step toward rebuilding America. Private investment along with political leadership can help our nation grow and create much needed jobs. First class roads, bridges, and ports will lead to first class jobs, homes, and lives for American families.
“Rebuilding our nation’s roads, bridges, and water systems is not enough. We must have long-term plans for maintenance and repair, sustainable funding mechanisms that assure reliability, and the political leadership to invest in our own communities.
“On March 19th, ASCE will release the 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, a comprehensive assessment on the state of our nation’s core infrastructure. In the 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, ASCE awarded our country a ‘D.’ A ‘D’ is not good enough for our students in the classroom, and certainly not good enough for American families or our economy.
“Next month’s Report Card grades will give the country, as well as the President, a clearer picture of where America can improve and offer solutions for how to do just that. The President’s State of the Union address offered a strong vision for investing in our economic foundation and jumpstarting our economy. We look forward to working with the Administration, Congress, and all those who are concerned with our country’s economic future on how we can reinvest in our communities and build the infrastructure America needs to prosper.”