Tag Archive for 'American Society of Civil Engineers'

AEM Comments On ASCE 2013 D+ Report Card For America’s Infrastructure

AEM LogoAssociation of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and I Make America’s 25,000 grassroots supporters nationwide responded today to a grade of D+ assigned to the country’s infrastructure conditions. The grade was assigned by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) today in its 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure.

On behalf of U.S. equipment manufacturers, AEM President Dennis Slater issued the following statement in response to the score:

“The D+ grade given to America by the ASCE 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure reflects a critical need for long-term infrastructure investment in this country. The state of America’s infrastructure has become both an economic and safety issue, with one in nine of the nation’s bridges rated as structurally deficient, and highway congestion costing the economy an estimated $101 billion in wasted time and fuel annually. We urge Congress to work together to immediately improve our infrastructure and keep our country competitive with our global counterparts on the infrastructure honor roll.”

Mr. Slater is available for further comment to discuss industry reaction to the report card, the impact the state of America’s infrastructure is having on the U.S. manufacturing industry, and AEM’s 25,000+ person grassroots “I Make America” campaign. To speak with Mr. Slater, please contact Sara Sendek at ssendek@aem.org.

ASCE Honors Civil Engineering Landmarks

Grand Central Terminal Dedicated, Two Others Named

{6b421f3d-edf7-4ddb-ade1-6622fe9f1c46}_LandmarkBridgesAs each civil engineering achievement builds on past successes, ASCE honors the greatest as National Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks.

On February 1, 2013, midtown Manhattan, ASCE and New York City are celebrating the 100th anniversary of an American transportation icon – Grand Central Terminal.

Joined by Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials, plus leaders and members of ASCE’s Metropolitan Section, 2013 President Greg DiLoreto, P.E., P.L.S., D.WRE, F.ASCE, will unveil an official plaque designating the terminal as an ASCE landmark.

ASCE’s Board of Direction approved the designation last year. This month, the Board formally approved the selections of two new Society landmarks:

•  The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, Louisiana, at nearly 24 miles, the world’s longest continuous bridge over water, and the first with 54-inch hollow cylindrical prestressed concrete piles.

•  The Waterford Bridges, both the current and former spans across the Hudson River at Troy, N.Y. The original bridge was the first to cross the Hudson in 1804, until destroyed by fire and replaced by the existing bridge in 1909.

Dedication ceremony dates for each landmark are to be decided.

ASCE Releases Final Economic Study

ASCE Government RelatASCE released its final economic study, Failure to Act: The Impact of Current Infrastructure Investment on America’s Economic Future, on January 17.  Focusing on how the continually increasing infrastructure investment gap will affect America’s businesses and jobs by 2020, this new study shows how doing nothing really does cost America a whole lot. Find the report and infographics at www.asce.org/failuretoact.

ASCE Issues New “Failure To Act” Report On Airports, Marine Ports, & Inland Waterways

On September 14, 2012  ASCE released its latest “Failure to Act” report on the economic impact of underinvestment in America’s infrastructure. In the report ASCE has projected a significant gap between planned investment and spending needs for the nation’s airports, marine ports, and inland waterways. With ports and inland waterways critical to our nation’s global competitiveness, ASCE’s report forecasts investment falling $16 billion short of the $30 billion needed through 2020. For airports, ASCE projects a gap of $19 billion from a total need of $114 billion. Failing to meet the gaps creates a drag on the economy by causing congestion and delays for U.S. businesses that import and export goods, leading to higher transportation costs and causing the price of goods to rise. Read and download the full report.

The fourth report in the Failure to Act series was released during two events in Washington, D.C., one for media members and another for Congressional staff. Both events were moderated by ASCE President Andy Herrmann, and joined by Virginia Port Authority Executive Director Jerry Bridges, and Rick Calhoun, President of Cargo Carriers. The event on Capitol Hill was highlighted by remarks from Congresswoman Janice Hahn (D-CA), co-chair and founder of the Ports Caucus.

Previous Failure to Act reports have analyzed electricity, surface transportation, and drinking water and wastewater. Access the complete series at www.asce.org/failuretoact.

ASCE Reports:

Aging infrastructure and congestion at our nation’s marine ports, inland waterways, and airports makes shipping more expensive, increasing the cost of goods. ASCE’s report, Failure to Act: The Economic Impact of Current Investment Trends in Airports, Inland Waterways, and Marine Ports Infrastructure finds that these costs reverberate through the economy, causing exports and GDP to fall, ultimately threatening more than 1 million U.S. jobs and causing a drop in personal income. With adequate investment, we can ensure that America remains competitive in the global marketplace, keep domestic business running efficiently, and maintain a lower cost of goods for consumers.

Key Findings:

Costs attributable to airport congestion will rise from $24 billion in 2012 to $34 billion in 2020. With additional investment of a total of $18.9 billion by 2020, plus the development of NextGen, the U.S. can protect:

  • $54 billion in exports
  • $313 billion in GDP
  • 350,000 jobs
  • $361 billion in personal income, or $320 per year for households.

Costs attributable to delays in the nation’s inland waterways system were $33 billion in 2010, and it is expected to increase to nearly $49 billion by 2020. With an additional investment of $15.8 billion between now and 2020, the U.S. can protect:

  • $270 billion in U.S. exports
  • $697 billion in GDP
  • 738,000 jobs annually
  • $872 billion in personal income, or $770 per year for households.

To learn more, the following are available for download:

 

House Passes Transportation Bill; Senate Passage Imminent

BREAKING NEWS: The House of Representatives passed the transportation conference report by a vote of 373-52 Friday afternoon. The Senate is currently considering the bill and passage is expected shortly.

The House and Senate worked vigorously all week to come to a compromise surface transportation conference report on Wednesday night. The announcement of a deal came over 1,000 days after the last surface transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU, expired in September 2009. The conference deal, which runs through the end of September 2014, will keep transportation spending at current levels and extend the authority to collect gasoline taxes through September 2016. The deal will be voted on today, first by the Senate, with the House following shortly thereafter. The bill is expected to pass through both chambers and be signed by the President before the 9th extension to surface transportation programs expires on Saturday.

The House and Senate agreement on Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), will set highway spending at $39.7 billion in fiscal 2013 and $40.3 billion in fiscal 2014.  Mass transit formula grants would be set at $8.5 billion in fiscal 2013 and $8.6 billion in fiscal 2014. Additional revenues will mostly come from collecting revenues from changes to federal pensions and moving money from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank trust fund into the Highway Trust Fund.

The new bill makes significant programmatic reforms, many of which ASCE has been long supported. The deal consolidates federal programs in an attempt to make them more competitive and streamlines the environmental review process to speed project delivery. The bill also has a focus on performance standards for highway and bridge maintenance, and ties some funding to whether states meet performance goals laid out in the bill.

The TIFIA grant program will see a substantial increase to $750 million in 2013 and $1 billion in 2014, a move which ASCE strongly advocated for over the past few months. The TIFIA program will also now operate on a first-come, first served basis, removing evaluation criteria.

Next, the Transportation Enhancements program will also see some changes. First, the program will now be called the Transportation Alternative program and each state will set-aside 2 percent of the amount apportioned for their enhancement activities. However, if these funds are not allocated within the state, the state may transfer up to 50% of those funds to other programs.

MAP-21 also includes the RESTORE Act language, which would establish the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund. The trust fund would contain 80% of all penalties paid from parties responsible for the gulf coast oil spill in order to pay for the extensive clean-up efforts. ASCE, through the Water Resources Coalition has been supportive of the inclusion of the RESTORE Act language.

Additionally, MAP-21 expands the ability of states to place tolls on any Federal-aid facility for any new capacity and removes the Bingaman amendment, which ASCE opposed, that would have reduced highway formula funds for states that sell or lease toll facilities to private companies.

Finally, turning to research, the bill provides $400 million for transportation research and authorizes 35 competitive grants to be provided annually for University Transportation Centers, a move which ASCE supported.

ASCE is happy to see that Congress came to a bipartisan agreement on surface transportation programs and worked to get a bill done by June 30th. However, it must be noted that this is just a critical first step to raising the grades for our nation’s surface transportation system. As ASCE has documented, we are not investing nearly enough to bring our roads, bridges, and transit systems to an acceptable condition that will serve our economy in the long-run. Therefore, ASCE will continue to work with Congress on a long-term, reliable funding source to meet these goals.

Thanks to the hundreds of Key Contacts who have written, called and met with their Representatives and Senators over the past (nearly) three years to talk about transportation reauthorization.  Grassroots action has been critical to this process.

For a summary of the bill look here