Managing Partner, A/E/P Central, LLC home of CivilEngineeringCentral.com
Leaders of “Building America’s Future” in their letter to President Obama commended him for his efforts and wrote in part:
“We write to ask for your continued leadership on the creation of a National Infrastructure Bank, which will help rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, including our transportation, water and wastewater, broadband, power grid and other critical assets. As you know, the American Society of Civil Engineers identified more than $2.2 trillion in outstanding infrastructure needs. We cannot improve our infrastructure through the annual appropriations process alone.
We must renew our commitment to a National Infrastructure Bank that can help leverage public and private dollars, address regional and national needs and spur a rebirth in how our country invests in infrastructure. Building America’s Future, along with many other organizations, has educated the public about the outstanding needs throughout our country. Cities and states are struggling to find enough resources on their own.”
Critics are pontificating on the reasons why this will not work. One of their concern centers on the shortfall of the initial investment. Their thought is that we can’t find enough money to fully fund a trillion dollar need, so why fund with a “paltry” $60 billion? Secondly, critics are hung up on the term “bank.” Banks need to lend money and generate revenue, and therefore make investments that repay themselves. Since all infrastructure projects will not return large financial investment, then critics want the bank funding investment portfolio modified. Finally, the critics regard any federal organization as ineffective.
We cannot afford another eight years of inactivity and political battles.
These infrastructure repairs are desperately needed. This is our industry’s future and we support this initiative.