The fifth annual Infrastructure Week is underway. More than 100 events are being held around the country this week, with the goal of elevating infrastructure as a critical issue impacting all Americans. Things kicked off Monday morning with an event at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, featuring Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, ASCE’s President Norma Jean Mattei, Ph.D., P.E., F.SEI, M.COPRI, F.ASCE, and leading CEOs and national labor leaders.
Over the course of the next five days, 250 affiliate partner organizations will host events on public-private partnerships, smart cities, water management, supply chains, and autonomous vehicles, to name a few. The Infrastructure Week message – the time for Congress and the Administration to invest in infrastructure is now – will be buoyed by media coverage, education and advocacy efforts in Washington and around the country. Participants can share the Infrastructure Week message by writing to their elected official, attending events, and using the #timetobuild hashtag to share social media content online.
Infrastructure Week is taking place as many Americans agree that infrastructure should be prioritized both by Congress and the Trump White House. A new poll, commissioned by the Value of Water Campaign for Infrastructure Week, found that 67 percent of those surveyed said rebuilding America’s infrastructure should be an extremely or very important focus for Washington. Consensus on the need to invest in our roads, bridges, ports, rail, and drinking water systems was significantly higher than on other issues tested, including tax and healthcare reform, and defense spending.
The urgency surrounding the need for infrastructure investment echoes the findings of ASCE’s 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, released in March of this year. In the latest quadrennial report, America’s infrastructure earned a cumulative G.P.A. of a “D+.” To raise the grades, ASCE recommends several solutions, including increasing investment from all levels of government and the private sector from 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025. ASCE’s recommendation will be among the messages sent to President Trump and Congress by advocates during Infrastructure Week. To follow along and participate, visit www.infrastructureweek.org.