Charles W. Indiana

Focus Needed on Infrastructure

Examining why there needs to be an increase on infrastructure.

Dear President,

The infrastructure of the U.S. is in a lot worse shape than we should allow it to be, but if the federal government steps up and takes charge of its problems our country would be a lot better off. Even though I have just received my driver’s license seven months ago, I am already tired of the condition of the roads and bridges around the area of Southern Indiana and beyond. My family and I frequently go on trips across the country, and my mother loves to take little side trips. As a result we have seen the various conditions of this nation’s transportation network. They vary from nice, black-topped roads in cities with large amounts of tourist money to spend on interstates to county streets that have enough black stripes on them to be called zebras and have plenty of bumps and holes in them to convince drivers with cars that have little suspension to stay off of them for as long as they can. The ports of the cities I have seen are rusted and cracking in a lot of places and airports that I have been to haven’t had an update on their runways for several or more years. Now I have a question for you President, how can we call ourselves the greatest country in the world when our infrastructure is so poor and mediocre?

The infrastructure of our country is what allows businesses to trade across the country and across the world, it ensures that our indoor plumbing works and that we won’t have to resort to ancient means of waste disposal, and it creates and keeps levees that make sure our coastal cities aren’t flooded by rising rivers and coastlines. The reason that our infrastructure is as poor as it is is because our country, more specifically our government, doesn’t fund civil engineering as much as we should. This means the civil engineers that we do have don’t have enough money to fix and prevent the problems that we have with our infrastructure. If we were more proactive in our repairs a lot of problems could be averted such as septic breaks due to clogging, bridge failings, and busting levees due to weakness. By taking steps to increase the longevity and durability of our nation’s infrastructure our country would be a lot safer and could more easily transport goods and travel across the country and the rest of the world using our clean, sound airports and seaports.

The ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) estimates that 3.6 trillion dollars will have to be invested in our infrastructure by 2020 to greatly improve its grade and to prevent major disruptions. People will argue that this number is too high to fund and that it will take a long time to fix everything. The people who argue this are not wrong, but if the civil engineering programs had a steady flow of funding from the government this goal can be achieved. I also must ask, what is less costly, preventing problems before they happen with little materials or waiting to repair a problem after it happens by replacing the whole thing? If our country funded projects to fix our infrastructure the unemployment rate would also decrease in the U.S. as more jobs are created to build and repair as many things as needed. With these repairs and building projects people would be able to travel faster across interstates and other country roads as there are less and less road construction due to breaks and falters in the road network. If bridges are built to last with more scheduled checkups there will be less bridge closures after someone finds a crack in its structure and can only put a band-aid on it because they don’t have enough funds to fix the problem fully. So, future President, will you do something to fix this country’s infrastructure to make our country look better in the eyes of other nations, which will open up travel and trade while securing great waste disposal and better drinking water quality or will you leave it be and let everything fail? It is your choice.