Infrastructure is finally rising as a major political interest.
That’s a good thing. Though it’s long been priority for our national construction industry, infrastructure maintenance has been pushed aside for years in favor of cheaper, more immediate interests.
Now, estimates of our needs project a total bill as great as $1.5 trillion in costs by 2025, split among a nearly uncountable number of projects across the country. Those dollars would go largely to patching up or replacing what’s already there, a massive catch-up plan to remedy what civil engineers have described as a crumbling system built largely in the 1960s.
That need is now being discussed as policy in some of the highest offices in the land. The administration of President Donald Trump has floated since its earliest days the idea of a trillion-dollar-plus infrastructure plan, an idea that has caught bipartisan attention but has ultimately stalled thanks to disagreements on the division of federal and local/state obligations and other political hurdles.
While there’s plenty left to be hammered out, AGC agrees wholeheartedly with the principle. Investments in a robust system of infrastructure will benefit the U.S. economy as a whole starting with our vital construction sector. According to statistics cited by the Council of Foreign Relations, every $1 invested in infrastructure can create as much as $3 in economic return, with even minor increases in investment leading to huge levels of job creation.
Washington isn’t immune from the problems affecting the country as a whole. In 2013, our state’s infrastructure was given a C grade from the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Association of Washington Business has flagged our own spending needs as being upwards of $190 billion .
We seem to be moving in the right direction as far as awareness of the issue goes, but there’s still plenty of action needed before we can start to solve this massive need. Let’s pull together to make it happen and stand as an example for the rest of the country.