In the middle of the last century, the United States made an investment in the critical infrastructure that made America the envy of the world. Powered by an abundance of cheap energy, ingenuity and hard work, the United States constructed cities that reached for the sky, the electric grid, not to mention the hydroelectric dams that power it and the interstate highway system. These are just a few of the marvels of engineering that laid the foundation for the success that allowed the United States to become the greatest super power the world has ever known. However, the stark reality of today tells a different story. When it comes to infrastructure, the United States is much like a beautiful, palatial estate that was built by our grandparents that we have inherited and done nothing to keep up. It may look great from the outside as you drive past, but if you were to walk inside you would see water leaks, exposed wiring in the walls and rotting floors.
The American Society of Civil Engineers grades the infrastructure in the United States at a D-plus, and it’s no surprise when 1-in-9 of the nations bridges are structurally deficient. Crumbling bridges and roads are not the only problem. Breaks and failures in decades old sewers and water delivery systems are a pervasive problem across the country and we haven’t even touched on our old and extremely fragile electric grid.
This is not a right or left issue. Politics has no place in the discussion. The “American Way of Life” does not just happen. On top of the energy required to do the work, it requires prioritization, solid planning and hard work. If we want that way of life to continue, significant and smart investment in the infrastructure that forms the skeleton of our nation is a must.