Investments in California still incredibly vital

The 7th annual Infrastructure Week arrives again May 13 through 20. The event is dedicated to understanding the importance of infrastructure to the nation’s economy, workers, and communities. It’s important for the public to recognize how much infrastructure impacts our daily lives and why it is important to make an investment in the future.

What happens and why it matters

During Infrastructure Week, more than 500 affiliate organizations, companies, and cities host over 100 events nationwide, all united around the message: “America’s future will be shaped by the infrastructure choices we make today. So let’s #BuildForTomorrow.”

The sentiment comes just as The American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) newly releases the infrastructure report card for California, revealing the condition of underlying frameworks are just average. The Golden State earned an overall grade of C- on its May 7 report card, marking a slight drop from the C received previously in 2012. Additionally, ASCE found California roads are actually worse; they earn a D grade.

California Report Card Committee Co-Chair Tony Akel said that even while California’s Road Repair and Accountability Act is projected to raise more than $50 billion for transportation projects during the next decade, more funding is needed. The report card found that the state faces a 10-year maintenance backlog of $137 billion. Additionally, The American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) reports that out of the top 10 structurally deficient bridges in the United States, nine are in Southern California. The cost to replace these aging bridges is estimated at $8.8 billion.

What the public can do

Citizens often feel helpless when these national spotlights shine on important issues such as the state of California’s failing infrastructure. There are four things you can do during Infrastructure Week to make an impact.

  1. Stay informed. Infrastructure is much more than roads and bridges. Water,rail and transit, airports and shipping ports are also large pieces of the infrastructure puzzle that impact our daily lives. Keep updated on current projects, funding and more via Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Check out our blog posts and sign up for our newsletter and receive information in your email box.
  2. Spread the word. With the power of social media today, when you share your convictions with others, your voice can be heard more loudly. Here are many ways you can tell your followers about projects and concerns.
  3. See where your tax dollar is being spent. When voters rejected Prop 6, it sent a strong message that the state needs SB 1 to safeguard its transportation infrastructure. The state map is now full of projects funded by these tax dollars.
  4. Start your construction career. Funds from SB 1 and other legislation has created a shortage of skilled laborers. Job prospects are hot for careers in construction. To address this need, we advocate for expanded access to in-demand career training programs and apprenticeship opportunities. Learn more about these programs, get training and get to work.

As we are reminded again this week that America’s future will be shaped by the infrastructure choices we make today,” individuals who take small steps like these can move California and all of the country forward so we can #BuildForTomorrow.