The Future Won’t Wait. Neither can we. It’s #TimeToBuild
Too many Americans are waiting. We’re waiting in traffic, on bus and subway platforms, and in airport terminals. We’re waiting for water mains to stop breaking. We’re waiting for goods to get to grocery shelves on time. We’re waiting to connect high-speed internet to more homes, schools, and businesses; waiting for a security energy grid that can withstand the challenges of the 21st century. We’re waiting for the high-quality jobs that investment in infrastructure creates. We’re waiting for modern, fast, reliable, and safe infrastructure.
And while we wait, the future won’t. Our global competitors are modernizing old systems and building new ones, with profound implications for trade, business competitiveness, and geopolitics. New technologies with the power to save us time, make us safer, and improve our lives are evolving faster than our regulations are keeping up. The future is just over the horizon, but we’re stuck. As we prepare for the sixth annual Infrastructure Week in 2018, we are telling our leaders: it is #TimeToBuild.
Our infrastructure problems are not going away, and every day we wait, the cost of inaction rises: lost time, lost productivity, and increasingly expensive maintenance and construction costs. While Washington debates how to move forward, Americans are footing the bill on their own – to the tune of an additional $9 every day for each American family.
The poor quality of our nation’s roads costs the average motorist $533 each year in auto repairs, and commuters waste 42 hours and $1,200 in fuel per person and idling in traffic. Aging and strained water utilities are rushing to keep pace with demand, while water-reliant businesses from breweries to automakers lose as much as $5,800 per employee for each day of disrupted service. The combined costs of damaged and delayed shipments ripple across supply chains – and are passed on to consumers. More than $1.3 trillion in property lies in the path of under-maintained aging levees, dams, and other critical infrastructure, putting whole communities at risk.
Yes, we have made some progress. Many state and local leaders are succeeding at raising revenue, attracting investors, and delivering the projects communities need to thrive in the 21st century. We’re shrinking our deficit of structurally deficient bridges as thousands are repaired or rebuilt. Many drinking water utilities are upgrading their systems, making water safer and delivery more reliable, and wastewater utilities are investing in technologies to mine valuable resources and energy sources. Companies are starting to deploy 5G communications in some cities. And cutting edge local governments and companies are deploying revolutionary planning tools and technologies, from transit and rideshare partnerships, to advanced sensors that triage and fix our infrastructure before it breaks.
But agreeing on a national vision for infrastructure, and a plan to pay for it? We still have a long way to go. False starts, delayed starts, deferred maintenance, and inadequate levels of investment are putting our infrastructure, our safety, and our economic competitiveness at risk. Cities, counties, states and the private sector are working hard, but need a strong, reliable federal partner to get the job done.
This is the rare bipartisan issue where business, labor, and public-sector leaders from across the country stand shoulder to shoulder, asking for Washington’s help to rebuild and modernize our infrastructure. Now in its sixth year, and led by a coalition of leading labor, business, and policy organizations, Infrastructure Week is uniting voices in Washington and from coast to coast. Our message this year is clear: we’ve waited long enough, and the future won’t wait. It is #TimeToBuild
 ASCE, Failure to Act, 2016
 TRIP, National Factsheet, May 2017
 ASCE, 2017 Infrastructure Report Card
 Value of Water Campaign, Economic Benefits of Investing in Water Infrastructure, 2017
 ASCE, 2017 Infrastructure Report Card