The American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) newly formed Civil Engineering Forum for Innovation (CEFI) and its Industry Leaders Council recently presented its first Infrastructure Solutions Summit to help formulate public policy on infrastructure improvement.

With the theme of "Moving From Awareness to Action," the summit was held in Washington, D.C., on April 25 and 26. It is the ASCE’s intent to put into action the recommendations gleaned from its well-known Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, including policy changes, better funding, and using best practices. The association’s long-term vision is to raise by one letter grade each "D" grade received on the 2005 Report Card.

Speakers and forum panelists included engineering firm executives, congressmen, Federal Highway Administration representatives, and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta. It is the ASCE’s hope to develop a unified body of industry leaders and corporate partners who will work toward the common goal of improving the condition, capacity, and capital of our infrastructure.

The ASCE plans to hold more summits on this topic, because, as Larry Roth, the ASCE’s deputy executive director, told Civil Connection, the public does not recognize the complete significance of infrastructure and its importance to our heath and economic well-being, among other benefits.

"If this was an easy problem to solve, it would have been solved years ago by other people," he said.

A full report on the results of the Infrastructure Solutions Summit will be released by the ASCE soon. Civil Connection will follow the story and publish more information as it becomes available.