2017 Infrastructure Week Advocates for Crucial Investment
The fifth annual Infrastructure Week was held from May 15-19 — a national week of education and advocacy that brings together American businesses, workers, elected leaders, and individual citizens to discuss the critical role infrastructure plays in our economy.
More than 100 events were held around the country, with the goal of elevating infrastructure as a critical issue impacting all Americans. The week kicked off with an event at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, featuring Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, ASCE’s President Norma Jean Mattei, Ph.D., and leading CEOs and national labor leaders.
Over the course of the five days, 250 affiliate partner organizations hosted events on a variety of topics such as public-private partnerships, smart cities, water management, supply chains, and autonomous vehicles, to name a few. The Infrastructure Week message — the time for Congress and the Administration to invest in infrastructure is now —was buoyed by media coverage, education and advocacy efforts in Washington and around the country.
Infrastructure Week took place as many Americans agree that infrastructure should be prioritized both by Congress and the Trump White House. A new poll, commissioned by the Value of Water Campaign for Infrastructure Week, found that 67 percent of those surveyed said rebuilding America’s infrastructure should be an extremely or very important focus for Washington. Consensus on the need to invest in our roads, bridges, ports, rail, and drinking water systems was significantly higher than on other issues tested, including tax and healthcare reform, and defense spending.
The urgency surrounding the need for infrastructure investment echoes the findings of ASCE’s 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, released earlier this year. In the latest quadrennial report, America’s infrastructure earned a cumulative G.P.A. of a “D+.” To raise the grades, ASCE recommends several solutions, including increasing investment from all levels of government and the private sector from 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025. ASCE’s recommendation was among the messages sent to President Trump and Congress by advocates during Infrastructure Week.
Infrastructure Week was founded and is led by its Steering Committee – a bipartisan team that includes leading business groups, labor unions, and think tanks working to improve America’s infrastructure.