As the U.S. reaches its 242nd birthday, infrastructure that’s been key to its economic strength—such as the iconic Brooklyn Bridge—needs critical investment and the industry’s best ideas to make it happen, says the author. Image: Wikimedia
- The U.S. now invests 1.3% of GDP in infrastructure, or about $250 billion a year.
- If we were to double that level and maintain it for 10 years, we would produce for the next generation a future of enormous opportunity—a total cumulative added market size of nearly $3 trillion.
It’s almost biblical how that imaginative power of those who in a short time created America’s infrastructure has driven this country’s business growth for decades and allowed it to produce and maintain a world-leading financial engine.
But the U.S. now may be headed for an economic apocalypse if our infrastructure’s critically needed upgrade continues to lack dedicated vision, iconic projects and, most importantly, public leadership.
Not all may agree, but that doubled investment to provide our children and grandchildren an extraordinary foundation to seize world-class opportunities is a great vision. It unleashes incredible levels of imagination and energy to build what would be an operating system for our country.
“Great projects, like the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge, are magical. They created new companies and industries, new ways of seeing the world and pride in a country’s enterprise and perseverance.”
A project like the New York City region’s critical Gateway transportation upgrade fits this template—the innovation and inputs required will light up the cranial circuit boards of a generation of engineers and create jobs in nearly 100 congressional districts, not to mention long-term career paths since O&M spend is seven times the project’s capital cost.