The U.S. is on the cusp of seeing its infrastructure receive one of the largest updates since the all encompassing 1933 New Deal. This bipartisan issue has long been sought after by administrations of differing political views.
American Society of Civil Engineers Managing Director of Government Relations and Infrastructure Initiatives Emily Feenstra joined AWF Union Podcast to discuss infrastructure grades, President Biden’s proposed plan and more.
What is infrastructure and how is it graded?
Feenstra began by detailing what infrastructure means and what the various forms are. She said traditional infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, need to be rebuilt.
In addition to traditional forms of infrastructure, there are more unconventional forms that need upgraded, expanded or rebuilt. The ASCE grades infrastructure based on 17 categories. These range from traditional forms, all the way to newer things such as broadband access, drinking water quality, school facilities and more.
The group has concluded that infrastructure investment is long overdue. They came to this conclusion based on the grades across the board. The grades are determined using federal data and industry surveys.
Is the American Jobs Plan good enough?
Feenstra said the short answer is yes, but it is also a start to something more. The American Jobs Plan touches on many aspects of the report card and offers significantly more than what past administrations have proposed.
While the scale and scope of the proposal are appropriate, American taxpayers are already paying the price for infrastructure as bridges collapse, water mains break and roads fracture everyday.