AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CIVIL ENGINEERS (ASCE)
#GameChangers is a compilation of the best and brightest innovations changing the infrastructure sector.
Projects being planned and built today are readying us for tomorrow’s challenges.
It’s no secret that a backlog of needed improvements and dearth of funding has left us with some infrastructure challenges – congested roadways, overflowing sewers, transit systems that break down. But that’s only half of the story.
By choosing to invest, communities across the country are seizing the opportunity to build infrastructure in innovative ways and modernize – taking advantage of lower prices, new project delivery methods, and innovative engineering and technology to transform their public spaces and position themselves ahead of the pack for economic growth.
We have surveyed engineers and public officials across the country to identify key game changers across the major infrastructure sectors – how we deliver drinking water, treat wastewater, build roads and bridges, design transit systems, generate and distribute energy, and move goods to market.
We’re at a critical moment in deciding how, and if, we will further invest in our infrastructure. Imagine what more we can do if we seize the opportunity to replicate these engineering innovations.
Our nation’s surface transportation system – our roads, bridges, and transit systems – faces an investment shortfall of $847 billion by the year 2020. Further, the impact of not addressing the shortfall goes beyond an added pothole or two – it acts as a drag on our nation’s economic growth and personal income. It is estimated that the average American family will lose $1,060 each year in personal disposable income due to deficient and unreliable transportation by the year 2020.
Many communities are taking small steps to address this shortfall, transforming the way they approach these projects and seeing impressive results where investments have been made. Accelerated construction, new pavements, and technology that offers more convenient travel options are just a few promising innovations coming to communities like yours.
Water is an essential part of life. Yet, our pipes across the United States are aging and there are 240,000 water main breaks per year in the United States. These are more than an inconvenience, as leaky water pipes and water shutdowns will cost businesses $147 billion and households almost $60 billion by the year 2020. In addition, continual droughts are wreaking havoc on water supply in some southern and western states. How are leading agencies and engineers tackling these issues amid constrained budgets?
Packages and products don’t move themselves – complex and innovative freight networks deliver goods to our doorstep and have created a competitive global economy. More efficient freight networks, including roads, rail, airports, ports, and more, lead to lower transportation costs for the many products and goods that make our way of life possible. There are some exciting advances taking place to prepare America’s infrastructure to move commerce within our borders and beyond, and that’s good because underinvesting and allowing the system to deteriorate could ultimately cost the U.S. economy $3.1 trillion in GDP and lost productivity by 2020.
When the power goes out, we all know it’s a problem. In fact, at current investment trends, brownouts and blackouts are expected to cost businesses and households almost $200 billion by the year 2020. With more extreme weather events predicted for the future, cities are beginning to plan on how to face them with resilience, technology, and stronger infrastructure.
About the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 147,000 members of the civil engineering profession worldwide, and is America’s oldest national engineering society. ASCE’s vision is to position engineers as global leaders building a better quality of life…Comprised of Regional Councils, Younger Member Councils, Sections, Branches, Student Chapters and Clubs and International Student Groups, the Society and its volunteers are fully engaged in making this a better world by design.