Posts tagged ‘US Infrastructure’
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has initiated a “Grand Challenge.” The Grand Challenge asks for a commitment from civil engineers to be innovative in all phases of project planning, design, and implementation. The Grand Challenge’s goal is to reduce infrastructure lifespan costs by 50% by 2025 and to encourage innovation and design for infrastructure sustainability. The ASCE Grand Challenge asks civil engineers from all backgrounds and at every career stage to “implement performance-based standards, resilience, innovation, and life cycle cost analysis in all projects.”
The ASCE Report Card for America’s Infrastructure estimates the investment needed for our infrastructure by 2020 is $3.6 trillion, of which $1.6 trillion is unfunded. With each passing year our bridges decay, water mains leak and our foundations crumble. Band-aids are applied and wounds stitched until the next disaster. The new administration assures us that America’s infrastructure- airports, transit/rail, etc- will lead the world. Where will that $1.6 trillion come from if we are not selling our infrastructure to other countries? ASCE summons its members to become leaders in creating solutions to, at the least, reduce the insufficiency.
What do you think? Can this work? Why not at least try?
Download your “Outreach Toolkit” here: https://ascegrandchallenge.com/toolkit/
Let’s us know what you think!
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Tired of reading about the failing infrastructure? Tired of waiting for your firm to reap the benefits of the infrastructure stimulus package? Tired of hearing about how the civil engineering industry is struggling and that civil engineering jobs are few and far between? Well, at this very moment in time, I certainly am. So in light of that, I thought I would use a little history and a little humor to maybe brighten up a few minutes of your day (though the historical video may also make you chuckle).
First, take a look at the videos below which I found on youtube, GM Futurama Parts 1 & 2. These videos give perspective from 1939 in regards to what our infrastructure would look like in 1960. Bridges, highways, airports that would solve all of our problems and make life easier. These videos are amazing, really, to see how far our infrastructure has come since then. Now we are looking at technologies like SkyTran and SmartRoads, ideas that were surely beyond comprehension in 1939.
Following the videos are a few snapshots that have been circulating the Internet, maybe you have seen them. Engineering and construction masterpieces they are not…just a little civil tomfoolery!
NOW FOR SOME NOT SO MEMORABLE MOMENTS IN ENGINEERING
My father and grandfather were chemical engineers, my younger brother studied civil engineering, my older sister scored over 1400 on her SAT’s. Apparently that “smart” gene, along with the gene that provides a full head of hair, managed to bypass me. Though I never even had the chance to be an engineer, I have always been fascinated with the final products that are churned out by architects, engineers and construction professionals. I remember a couple of years ago when we were developing the website for Precision Executive Search and I was in search of some cool aerial photos of some crazy interchanges. We ended up going with photos of bridges to go along with our tag line of “Bridging The Gap,” but we found some pretty amazing photos that we ended up not using. Besides my intrigue with long span bridges, highway tunnels, elevated highways and uniquely designed and structurally sound buildings, I am even more fascinated with the design and construction of the interchanges that can be found in some of the most traveled areas across the globe. What our audience of civil engineering professionals is capable of accomplishing is nothing short of amazing to me.
So, after perusing the Internet I came across some cool videos (accompanied by music, so turn down your speakers if you are in cube world) that blast through some of the craziest highways and interchanges around the globe. I began to wonder,
Who within our blogosphere could identify some of these interchanges?
Maybe you designed or built one of them, maybe you proposed or bid on one of them, maybe you attended a conference where it was profiled, or, maybe you hit it up every day on your way to work. Whatever the case may be, I would like to challenge you to….
NAME THAT INTERCHANGE!!
Thanks for participating…we look forward to your responses!
Civil Engineering Jobs :: Civil Engineering Resumes :: Civil Engineering Blog :: Linkedin Discussion
SO…. Earlier today we sent out an article to the civil engineering community highlighting the current stances of Barck Obama and John McCain on many of the infrastructure issues that directly effect the civil engineering industry. This was a non-partisan article that was aimed at providing our readership relevant information from reliable sources in respect to the profession that we are all apart of, in one way or another. The information that I was able to uncover included the opinions and policies of either Barack Obama or John McCain, one of which will become the next president of our great country. Obama or McCain may or may not be the right person for the job, but one of them will be elected. There are of course other candidates out there from the Boston Tea Party/Personal Choice Party, the Constitution Party, the Green Party, the American Independent Party, the Independent-Ecology Party, the Libertarian Party, the Prohibition Party, the Reform Party, the Socialist Party and the Socialist Workers Party; and though those candidates may have worthwhile infrastructure policy programs, my goal was to write an article, not a book. And quite frankly, none of them have a remote chance of being elected.
I’ve received a number of phone calls and emails bringing up valid points in response to my article, but I realized that there was no real open forum to discuss the beliefs and policies of the candidates in response to the article. Maybe you have more information to share with our readers, maybe you want to discuss one of the other candidates outside of Obama & McCain. Or maybe I failed to note some more specific areas, as noted by one of our readers, like Off Shore Oil Drilling. Whatever the case may be, WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
HERE IS THE ARTICLE:
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) estimates that $1.6 trillion is needed to effectively and adequately fund our infrastructure over the next five years. $1.6 trillion. A recent report from the National Surface Transportation Policy & Revenue Study Commission indicated that an investment of somewhere in the ballpark of $300 billion dollars PER YEAR for the next 50 years is required. $300 billion PER YEAR.
With our current economy tearing apart at the seams, oil and gas prices rising, and our continued war effort in Iraq, the issue of our existing and future infrastructure has taken a back seat with presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain. We are only another tragic bridge collapse or devastating hurricane away from making headlines again, and it is unfortunate that neither candidate has recently considered the issue of our infrastructure head on. With the help of some colleagues, I was able to scour the Internet for any information I could to provide you with the candidates’ current stances in relation to the United States infrastructure. Here is what we discovered:
In Relation to Bridges & Highways:
Popular Mechanics was unable to locate any policy reports from the McCain camp regarding infrastructure. McCain did address the Minnesota Bridge Collapse, stating that it was not a matter of not having the funding to commit to the backlog of bridge inspection, repair and construction, but rather a misallocation of the funds toward wasteful earmarks. Obama, on the other hand, supports creation of an independent entity referred to as the National Infrastructure Reinvestment bank, which plans to invest $60 billion in transportation infrastructure over the next 10 years. This allocation of funds is on top of other federal infrastructure financing (Sofge). The projects created by this funding will generate up to 2 million new jobs per year and will infuse $35 billion per year in economic activity (Obama).
AP reports that John McCain supports an $8 billion funding package for federal highway construction. Some of these projects include pork barrel spending, and McCain has stated time and time again that if he becomes president, he will veto any bill that is presented to him that includes earmarks. This may be a tough pill to swallow since many construction projects are promoted and supported by individual lawmakers. It is McCain’s goal to fight for highway funding that is not laden with pork (Espo). McCain did support a federal gas tax holiday to bring down gas prices, but critics believe that though it would lessen the financial burden on the people, it would take away the taxes that help fund highway and infrastructure projects (Crawley).
Obama proposes a $50 billion bill to fund infrastructure and emergency aid to state governments. One half of the total funds will be allocated per state government officials; the other $25 billion will go directly toward road, bridge and other public works projects. McCain believes this proposal to be a short-term answer, but indicated he would certainly consider signing any valid stimulus plan that Congress would set before him should he become president (Hall).
In Relation to Energy:
McCain is an avid supporter of nuclear energy and the aggressive buildout of nuclear power plants across the country, proposing to build 45 new plants by 2030. McCain is also in support of clean-coal energy, offering up to $2 billion per year in research until the year 2024. He also supports other alternative energies. Obama believes in staunch investment in biofuels, renewable energy and clean coal plants, $150 billion worth over 10 years (Crawley).
In Relation to Rail & Mass Transit:
Though McCain opposes federal funding for Amtrak, he recognizes Amtrak’s importance in our country. With that, McCain did support legislation that would back long-term capital funding for passenger rail. Obama supports continued capital funding for Amtrak and is for the development of a high-speed corridor between major cities located within 500 miles of each other. Obama also calls for legislation for funding for freight rail and mass transit expansion (Crawley).
In Relation to Dams & Levees:
Obama has scribed a policy paper on rebuilding the hurricane-stricken gulf coast that highlights his plans to build out and repair a significant levee and pumping system. McCain, though clearly recognizing the dire situation in the gulf coast region, has not formally prepared a flood management plan of his own. Neither candidate has addressed a plan for the crumbling levee system in the Midwest (Sofge).
In Relation to Sustainable Communities:
Though neither candidate shows any real transparency on this topic, Obama wants to consider smart growth opportunities to build more livable and sustainable communities (Obama).
For years now we have been hearing about, reading about and witnessing firsthand the deterioration of our infrastructure across the country. It is time for the next president and Congress to take action.
Whatever your stance is on the issues, whatever party you are a member of, make sure you get out and vote on November 4th!
Sofge, Erik. “Green Tech Plans Hide Obama-McCain Disparity on Infrastructure.” Popular Mechanics 25 September 2008. 27 September 2008 <http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/worst_case_scenarios/4284650.html?series=46>
Obama, Barack. “Urban Policy.” BarackObama.com. 27 September 2008 <http://origin.barackobama.com/issues/urban_policy/>
Espo, David. “McCain Supports Highway Bill.” Associated Press 12 September 2008. 27 September 2008 <http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5i_u9vaRcJLaMSn-4Au8qNnnaO2NQD935D4PO1>
Hall, Kevin. “McCain, Obama Differ on Ways to Help Main Street.” The Kansas City Star 27 September 2008. 28 September 2008 <http://www.kansascity.com/news/nation/story/816993.html>
Crawley, John. “FACTBOX: McCain, Obama Infrastructure Priorities.” Reuters 30 June 2008. 27 September 2008 <http://www.kansascity.com/news/nation/story/816993.html>