Viewpoint: Let’s Build Our Way Back Now

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There is nothing that matters more to the U.S. economy right now than the depth and duration of the current recession.

The industry that engineers, builds, finances and operates American infrastructure has an unusual opportunity to make that duration short by leading the charge to achieve rapid economic recovery, robust job creation and sustained business growth.

With tremendous damage already, this is going to be long and tough. But we must start now and generate both quick and lasting results.

The planned fourth economic stimulus, which Trump Administration officials say “would be infrastructure,” needs to be a modern-day Marshall Plan—with construction industry leaders, not politicians, driving its design and execution.

How can we make the infrastructure plan a reality?

Not Red or Blue—Bright Green

CG/LA Infrastructure Inc research has identified nearly 500 infrastructure projects that are ready to go as strategic building blocks for economic revival. These have already been plotted on a GIS map that highlights direct and indirect job creation. Projects are in every state and in every infrastructure sector—from transportation to water delivery to energy generation to power transmission.

Getting projects up and running would drive a return to growth, creating needed jobs by Dec. 31. These are not red or blue state jobs, but ones in each of our 435 congressional districts that would light up the country in bright green—the color of money flowing back into municipal budgets, business bottom lines and worker paychecks.

Let’s anticipate that this initial federal investment can generate the necessary capital from other public and private sources. U.S. government guarantees would help, something the European Union already is doing. In a recent survey conducted by CG/LA Infrastructure, 94% of industry respondents wanted to see increased private investment in infrastructure.

Who Leads? We All Do

CEOs of design, construction, technology, finance and services firms, who are infrastructure experts, must lead. They must publicly advocate for a financial stimulus that is strong enough to get the job done, develop the plan and lead execution of an unprecedented project mobilization, and ensure its delivery. This will result in greater productivity, less congestion, reduced pollution and rebuilt financial security for U.S. citizens.

How often do you have an opportunity, joined with state, federal and business leaders, not only to use the industry’s collective skill and ingenuity to rebuild America physically and financially but also to improve the national mood and mindset.

So, who leads? We all do.

Source: ENR, Norman F. Anderson

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