In response to President Obama’s comments on infrastructure in his Jan. 27 State of the Union address, ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) has issued this statement by 2010 President Blaine D. Leonard, P.E., D.GE, F.ASCE:
We appreciate that the president mentioned in his address that railroads and the Interstate Highway System are critical investments in American infrastructure. He also spoke about how investments in infrastructure are investments in nation building. But the fact is, in recent decades we’ve stopped investing in our future. We are still driving on Eisenhower’s roads and sending our kids to Roosevelt’s schools.
The broken water mains, gridlocked streets, crumbling dams and levees, and delayed flights that come from failing infrastructure have a negative impact on the checkbook and on the quality of life of each and every American. Investing in America’s infrastructure will support and create jobs — an essential function for economic recovery — as well as bring tangible personal benefits to Americans, like safer communities, less money spent on gas and more time with our families due to shorter commutes.
The President’s leadership on infrastructure is essential for our future prosperity. We need a bipartisan commitment to create a long-term plan for our infrastructure; one that includes sufficient funding levels and dedicated revenue sources. Without that, anything we do now will be nothing more than a band-aid.
ASCE has, IMHO, bought too much in recent years to the “politically correct” line rather than what’s really correct, scientifically or otherwise. But the Society has consistently documented the defects in our infrastructure. These pronouncements only get publicity when something collapses (like the I-35 bridge in Minnesota.)
And speaking of Minnesota, it seems that their junior Senator Al Franken isn’t happy with his Great Helmsman these days:
Sen. Al Franken ripped into White House senior adviser David Axelrod this week during a tense, closed-door session with Senate Democrats.
Five sources who were in the room tell POLITICO that Franken criticized Axelrod for the administration’s failure to provide clarity or direction on health care and the other big bills it wants Congress to enact.
The sources said Franken was the most outspoken senator in the meeting, which followed President Barack Obama’s question-and-answer session with Senate Democrats at the Newseum on Wednesday. But they also said the Minnesotan wasn’t the only angry Democrat in the room.
“There was a lot of frustration in there,” said a Democratic senator who declined to be identified.
“People were hot,” another Democratic senator said.