Why do I love infrastructure?

Let me count the ways…

Reliable electricity, gas and other public utilities

Communication systems including internet access

Sewage treatment, drinking water, sanitation

The freedom, the allure, the ability to wander on the open road.

Who doesn’t love receiving packages or shopping for goods that traveled on ships and trains? We all appreciate that even more when there’s a “supply chain disruption.”

Public tennis courts!

Parks full of sunflowers! Hiking trails!

I spend a great deal of time on roads, crossing bridges and going through tunnels in the family car.  Whenever possible, I fly to exotic and beautiful destinations (such as Newark, NJ).  My home is supplied with clean drinking water, reliable electricity, regular recycling and trash collection, and high-speed broadband.  As a family, we make excellent use of the parks and recreational facilities in our area.  All of these are wholeheartedly appreciated in my daily life.

Countless hours of driving, listening to the BBC and NPR, shows me that all roadways are not created equal.  It also reminds me that access to all the infrastructure services and utilities I love is not guaranteed.  In many countries, and along wide swathes of the US, access to clean drinking water, appropriate sanitation and reliable electricity vary from non-existent to unreliable or severely limited.

Remarkably, despite the polarization of our political and legislative bodies, legislation to address inaccessibility of and the decline in various aspects of our national infrastructure was enacted in 2021.  That’s incredible, isn’t it?  And very timely – our bridges, tunnels, dams and other structures are showing their age across the nation.  Unfortunately, that means that some assets have moved from “dated” to “downright dangerous.”

The Inflation Reduction Act, Infrastructure Reinvestment and Jobs Act and the CHIPS and Science Act, estimated at a combined $3.5 trillion, are making inroads and driving economic growth. This group of legislation sets out to address the inaccessibility of and the decline in various aspects of the nation’s infrastructure. (ha! Infrastructure-related wordplay!! And I get paid.  What a wonderful world!)

According to a recent article in Forbes, some legislators are looking back and re-evaluating their feelings regarding these bills.  Though they voted against them, “Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa), Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA), and even Rep. Steve Scalise, #2 in the GOP House leadership, touted the infrastructure investment in his home state of Louisiana, which he voted against. Then there’s Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville, who The Washington Post reported voted against the funding and is now seeking it out for his state.” Happily, the infrastructure spending will benefit these lawmakers’ constituents and others in some of the more neglected states mentioned in an article by CNBC last month.

Hopefully, this means that everyone is learning to love  and appreciate infrastructure as much as I do!

I can dream, right?