Things are heating up on Capital Hill, and with a little patience, civil engineers working in the public sector may soon see funds released to execute many projects that have been in limbo. Helping to move things along, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and its members delivered an Infrastructure Action Plan last month to the 110th Congress. Focusing on the overall grade of D our nation’s infrastructure received in the most recent ASCE Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, the representatives had much to discuss regarding the impact of our deteriorating infrastructure and its affect on public health, safety, and welfare. In fact, the organization identified 11 legislative actions the 110th Congress should take to raise the grades for America’s infrastructure, including the following:
- enact the National Infrastructure Improvement Act to establish the National Commission on Infrastructure of the United States,
- use all funds that accumulate in the Highway Trust Fund to invest in the nation’s surface transportation program,
- reauthorize the Brownfields Revitalization and Environmental Restoration Act of 2002 to provide continued federal funding for the redevelopment of brownfields sites,
- enact the Dam Rehabilitation and Repair Act (H.R. 1098) to address the most critical non-federal public dams,
- enact a national levee safety program, including a nationwide inventory of levees and mandatory inspection requirements,
- enact the Water Quality Financing Act of 2007 (H.R. 720) to provide vitally needed federal aid through the State Revolving Loan Fund program,
- enact a Water Resources Development Act that requires a more comprehensive approach to water resources projects constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and
- ensure the integrity of the Inland Waterways Trust Fund.
As reported in the news article, "Congress addresses transportation, dam safety, and water quality issues," progress on three other recommendations—regarding fiscal year 2007 airport funding, SAFETEA-LU, and drinking water funds—have already been passed. Stay tuned for future updates on these and other legislative issues that will affect your career and business.
Once those projects are funded, the fun begins for civil engineers. To assist you on both public and private civil engineering design projects, CE News will publish its inaugural Buyers’ Guide next month. A comprehensive, categorical listing of manufacturers, service providers, and software developers serving civil and structural engineers will be provided in an easy-to-reference format. Traditional editorial content will be available online at www.cenews.com, so you won’t miss out on the information you depend on. The June issue will be typical, packed with news, features, project case studies, and more, including our annual salary survey results.
P.S. The deadline for the Best Civil Engineering Firms To Work For is April 20. Go to www.cenews.com/bestfirm to learn how to apply.