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Investing in America’s Future: The Importance of Continued Infrastructure Funding

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recently released an eye-opening report emphasizing the need for ongoing investment in U.S. infrastructure. Titled “Bridging the Gap,” the report warns that without continuous funding, the progress made in recent years could be undone, leading to more significant challenges for our nation.

The Critical Role of Federal Funding

Although the elimination of funds could potentially widen the infrastructure investment gap, federal funding, with an emphasis on the $550 billion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), has been key in averting the broadening of this gap. But it should be noted that this funding is temporary, with its sources expected to run out by 2026. The ASCE specifically points out that the nation’s improvements may be vulnerable if investment is not sustained and that the deterioration of our infrastructure may continue.

ASCE President Marcia Geldert-Murphey highlighted the importance of ongoing efforts: “Federal action has made substantial progress stopping the growth of our needs, but this is just the beginning. We need continued action at the federal level and collaboration from state and local governments and the private sector if we are going to succeed in transforming our aging infrastructure network to be more sustainable, resilient, and best suit the future needs of American households and businesses.”

The Consequences of Inadequate Infrastructure

Despite recent improvements, America has major infrastructure problems such as blackouts, traffic jams, load-bearing limitations for bridges and leaking water pipes. These issues consume approximately $2,000 per household annually in the United States and if funding is reduced, this loss would possibly be elevated up to $2,700 per household per year.

The ASCE report identifies the sectors most affected by poor infrastructure: manufacturing, finance and real estate, healthcare, utilities, and agriculture. For instance, the manufacturing sector requires energy and water, which have to be consistent, clean transportation that is efficient, and effective seaports. From being a leading sector, it could lose $1.15 trillion by 2033. Whereas, with current funding levels equal to $877 billion, a cut of $276 billion will be the real picture.

The Need for Sustained Investment

While federal investments have helped stabilize investment gaps in sectors like transportation, water, and aviation, the energy sector remains a significant concern. The ASCE report calls for continued federal action and collaboration among state and local governments and the private sector to address these growing infrastructure needs.

Darren Olson, chair of ASCE’s Committee on America’s Infrastructure, emphasized, “Our needs have continued to grow for decades. Only recently, with the IIJA and IRA [Inflation Reduction Act], have we seen a renewed investment in infrastructure. But it’s a down payment. It’s the start of the process to slow the growth of the gap, but because we have not done this for so long, it is impossible to significantly impact the gap without a long-term sustained investment.”

C-N-I Locates Services: Keeping Infrastructure Projects on Track

C-N-I Locates has a significant and critical responsibility for keeping these delivery infrastructure projects on schedule, within the authorized cost expenditure, and safe. Using our damage prevention offerings, including subsurface utility mapping, precision concrete scanning, video pipe inspections, and more construction companies can avoid getting tangled in subsurface structures. Through operating ground penetrating radar (GPR) scanners and electromagnetic (EM) locators, our experienced NUCLA and NASSCO certified technicians ensure a precise visual of what is beneath the ground’s surface to help facilitate safe digging.

From skyscrapers to subsurface utilities, C-N-I Locates provides clarity to keep your projects on time, on budget, and safe. Investing in infrastructure is investing in America’s future. Let’s keep building a better, safer, and more resilient nation together.