It seems to me that a top priority for civil and structural engineers working in the public sector should be educating the public on why we are so much better off to maintain our transportation and public utility infrastructures than to not do so and end up with total system failures.
It’s the same story all over our nation. Deferred maintenance is killing us and will cost us more in the future. Systems we take for granted — bridges we hope will stand, heavily trafficked roads, critical water lines — all of these facilities and more need work. That is going to take money. Money comes from tax revenues. Tax revenues come from either infrastructure users, bill payers, sales, income, or property. Bonds may also be issued.
All of these revenue sources are affected by government policies and taxpayer willingness. In a sense, if we all do well, the government does well. More revenue for them is usually the result of prosperity. If we are doing poorly, we want the government to cut back on spending just as we would in our households.
Pro-business policies help create the scenarios that result in the revenue needed for infrastructure maintenance and expansion. As you prepare to vote, ask yourself who you think will best help create and support the initiatives that will lead to a strong economy — locally, in your state, and in the country overall. It’s in all of our best interests as engineers and citizens.
The long-term prognosis (say 40 years out) for demand versus supply of civil and structural engineers indicates an increasing gap. The needs are building and the supply isn’t keeping up. If we don’t maintain what we have, the gap will be even greater. We have to make infrastructure spending a priority. Our very lives may depend on it!
We’re all about civil and structural engineers and engineering here at Civil + Structural Engineer. Please let us know how we can help get the word out to the American public as a whole about why we need to take care of our infrastructure needs! Our mission is to help you be more successful and this has to be a part of it. And meanwhile, enjoy our November issue!
Mark C. Zweig