WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following is a statement from Randall S. Over, P.E., president of The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), regarding President Obama’s 5th State of the Union address this evening: “Tonight, President Obama reminded us all that ‘America does not stand still.’ Regrettably, for too long, the same cannot be said of America’s infrastructure. As the President spoke this evening on ways to boost our economy and create jobs, he urged Congress to move the Water Resources Reform and Development Act across the finish line and to pass a transportation bill this summer. We strongly agree that these pieces of legislation cannot wait.
“For America’s roads and bridges, 2014 must become a ‘year of action.’ If we cannot find a solution for the impending insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund, state transportation departments will face huge cuts in capital funding by the end of this year and fall farther behind with a growing backlog of projects.
“No one needs convincing that America’s infrastructure needs work. The American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gave the nation’s infrastructure a “D+”. We found that unless new investments are made, the nation’s deteriorating surface transportation will cost the U.S. economy more than 876,000 jobs and suppress our GDP by $897 billion by 2020. Because, as the President said, ‘first-class jobs gravitate to first-class infrastructure.’
“Maintaining and modernizing our infrastructure is one of the essential roles of government. From Franklin Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan, building the networks that connect our families and businesses to one another has long been a bipartisan issue. Now more than ever is the year to commit to reliable, long-term funding source for our transportation system.”