Infrastructure Investment Pushed As Front-Burner Election Issue

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Aiming to boost infrastructure investment as a bigger economic priority in U.S. policy for the next administration, a new coalition is pushing to gain support of its “Blueprint 2025” initiative in Congress and among the key presidential contenders. The focus will be on growth and opportunity creation.

Construction-industry and other business-sector CEOs, leaders of public agencies, and financing entities are the group’s current and desired advocates. Among other actions, the effort aims for a White House-level agency to expedite infrastructure project permitting and technology adoption, as well as a national infrastructure bank that would inject at least $2 trillion in new investment over the next decade—something proponents say could hike GDP by at least 1%.

Blueprint 2025 is a broad-based effort, drawing ideas from diverse stakeholders across the infrastructure community, from designers to operators and from builders to users, [and] across the range of issues, from private finance to public capacity creation and from priority project selection to business model development.

The overall objective is to define key infrastructure-related issues for the 2016 elections, creating a series of actionable bipartisan initiatives that will drive change in infrastructure policy and execution in the new administration. The end result of Blueprint 2025 will be a strategic infrastructure roadmap for the next government, whether Republican or Democrat, focused on ensuring that infrastructure is, and remains, a top three issue for the next administration.

“This is a broad-gauged effort focused on bringing in all stakeholders and using social media channels to engage everyone in the issue of new investment, the right investment and new technologies to create an entirely new economic platform for the U.S.,” says Norman Anderson, CEO of Washington, D.C.-based global infrastructure consultant CG/LA, which is spearheading Blueprint 2025.

Anderson says proponents will begin monthly congressional breakfasts in late March and town halls around the U.S., through the election and the first 100 days of the next administration.

“Now is the time to think about how to meet the infrastructure needs of the future,” said Andres Gluski, early Blueprint member and CEO of AES Corp. “It’s hard to think of the U.S. being competitive when we’re under-spending in infrastructure. It has not been a U.S. priority for many years, and if this continues, we can’t maintain our lead.”

Source: Engineering News-Record

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