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From the Editor: Variety and the Growth of Community

Mark Scacco on June 8, 2017 - in Articles, Column

Infrastructure Week (May 15-19; infrastructureweek.org) was recently held in Washington, D.C., and several other cities across the United States. Infrastructure Week was founded and is led by a bipartisan Steering Committee that includes leading business groups, think tanks, unions and professional organizations. The week-long series of events hopes to raise national awareness of the need to invest in U.S. infrastructure, and it kicked off at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce with panel discussions and a keynote from the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao.

Although one would expect advocacy for major sectors such as transportation and water, it’s interesting to note the wide variety of other sectors represented in the week’s activities, including dams, aviation (including efforts to upgrade the FAA’s air traffic control system) and broadband internet. The diversity of topics covered during the week speaks directly to the increasingly urgent need to rebuild and enhance our country’s infrastructure.

Waiting on a Proposal

The elevated media attention that events such as Infrastructure Week and the previously released “ASCE Report Card on America’s Infrastructure” provides a backdrop for conversation and debate around a federal infrastructure spending plan. The Trump administration continues to talk about a far-reaching proposal of $200 billion of direct federal investment designed to tap up to $1 trillion in total infrastructure investment through public-private partnerships. A repeated theme from the administration and other officials is the need to reduce regulatory red tape, which results in long permitting times and other delays. As a nation, it’s important we balance the need to rebuild our infrastructure in an efficient and expeditious manner without decimating protections for the environment, public health and safety.

Something for Everyone

This issue of Informed Infrastructure is our biggest ever, and that speaks directly to the demand for coverage of topics and products that are important to you, our readers. As the scope of Infrastructure Week and the forthcoming infrastructure spending proposal indicate, “infrastructure” covers a broad variety of topics. At Informed Infrastructure, we’re working to deliver the stories that matter most to you.

In this issue, you’ll find diverse coverage, including an article about an award-winning bridge project on the cover as well as a bridge component and software specification guide in the back. There’s also an article about how landscape architects Tract Consultants employed the latest in design technology to create a non-invasive world-class viewing area and walking path for the ‘Penguins Plus’ View Experience at Phillip Island Nature Parks in Victoria, Australia. And continue to learn with another excellent PDH/CEU opportunity from Contech, where you can get an introduction to designing corrugated metal pipe stormwater detention systems to control the quality and quantity of stormwater runoff.

Great Feedback = Great Magazine

With this issue, we’re happy to introduce another first for our publication: a Letters section (on page 10). We received a number of excellent and thoughtful letters from our readers, and we wanted to share some of them with you. This is a section we’d like to make a regular part of the magazine, so be sure to send in your thoughts and comments.

Another great way to join the conversation is to participate in a Readership Survey coordinated by Signet. In the coming weeks, a sample of our readership will receive a short survey about your reading habits, helping us understand what’s important to you. Be sure to keep an eye out for it and to submit your responses. Your feedback is invaluable to help us continue to deliver the great content you’ve come to expect from Informed Infrastructure.

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About Mark Scacco

Mark Scacco, P.E., is a 25-year veteran of AEC technology and design consulting. He is an AEC Industry Consultant with Scacco LLC and can be reached via email at [email protected].

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