On June 27 at the National Press Club, a new report was released that outlines innovative new ways that the federal government, industry and other stakeholders can work together to solve the crisis of the failing state of U.S. infrastructure.
Entitled "Making The Grade,” the report is the result of experts from 45 different organizations, including corporations, professional organizations, think tanks, financial advisors and academic institutions. It offers a six-point plan with fresh ideas to regain America's infrastructure leadership and revive the country’s global competitiveness.
The report's name is intended as a rallying cry in response to last year's quadrennial report card by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), which gave America's overall infrastructure a D+ grade. The ASCE estimates that US$3.6 trillion must be invested by 2020 to make critically needed upgrades and expansions of national infrastructure - and avoid trillions of dollars in lost business sales, exports, disposable income and GDP.
While much has been written and discussed about the problem, Making the Grade provides substantive recommendations and workable solutions to help meet today’s and tomorrow’s infrastructure needs.
The report's six-point recommendations include: 1) Making infrastructure a cabinet-level priority; 2) Forming U.S. infrastructure regions; 3) Establishing a national infrastructure bank; 4) Selling "opportunity" bonds; 5) Creating a national infrastructure index and 6) Engaging the American people to build support for the importance of infrastructure policy.
Collectively, these recommendations apply modern tools, technologies, approaches and fresh thinking to offer a new vision and path forward for the way U.S. infrastructure should be planned, financed, designed and built.
The June 27 event and publication of the Making the Grade report is just the beginning. The 45 organizations involved are dedicated to driving the policy recommendations forward through continued public advocacy, wider industry dialogue and engagement with lawmakers over the coming months and years.