Infrastructure in the News: Invest Now or Pay Later


Water and transit have each had their fair share of media attention this week. Water Week has highlighted our nation’s water infrastructure conditions and transit hearings and incidents are reinforcing investment needs.

Water Week highlighted diverse needs across the country as more than 100 water and wastewater utility managers, operators and engineers visited Washington, D.C. to advocate for more federal investment in water infrastructure. There have been many articles about the state of our nation’s drinking water, water main ruptures, and water infrastructure overall, further pointing to the need for solid investment and maintenance.

Transit needs also continue to dominate the news. While transit centers in Brazil, Saudi Arabia, India and China are building new subways, subways in even our wealthiest cities are suffering from lack of maintenance. In our nation’s capital, the Metro subway system has been encountering many issues lately that have prompted Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to work towards a diligent plan of repair and maintenance.  In order to provide adequate maintenance, Metro needs $25 billion over the next 10 years to run the system.  Yet Congress denied Metro increased funding to put towards Metro repairs.

It is important to have a holistic view of infrastructure, because poor transit and water infrastructure affects our competitiveness as a nation overall. An article in MSN explained how declining quality, reliability and safety of our transportation infrastructure affects business costs and job growth. In just a few weeks, ASCE will be releasing its updated Failure to Act Economic Study to reflect the latest numbers on how failing to invest in infrastructure is affecting our nation’s competitiveness.

In order to meet the increasing demands of our nation’s water and transit needs, it is important that local, state and federal governments work together to find long-term, sustainable funding that will revitalize these sectors.

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