‘Infrastructure week’ an opportunity for progress

By |  June 5, 2017

We’ve heard a lot of talk about revitalizing our nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

For years.

And we’ll be hearing more about it this week, as President Donald Trump makes a few stops across the U.S. to lay out his vision to rehabilitate U.S. roads, bridges, waterways and other deteriorating infrastructure.

The White House is billing this week as “infrastructure week,” with a planned rollout Monday of the president’s vision to privatize air traffic control, Wednesday speeches in Ohio and Kentucky that will reportedly discuss rural waterways, and an address back in Washington on Friday at the Department of Transportation.

Such a focus on infrastructure is a welcoming development for businesses – aggregate producers included – that rely on a continuously developing infrastructure.

Our roads and bridges, obviously, have not been developing at the same rate as our growing economy. And a $1 trillion bill of the variety President Trump envisions – the kind that could really give U.S. infrastructure the boost it needs – is unlikely to pass overnight in a Congress made up of Democrats who are dead set on opposing the president’s plans and Republicans who are hesitant to increase spending at such a high rate.

Neither party can deny the overdue need for infrastructure enhancement, but coming to an agreement on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill in this fractured political climate would be an achievement of epic proportions.

The president seems determined to bring a record-setting infrastructure bill to life despite the obstacles, though. And who can blame him?

Progress is never easy, and great achievements typically occur amid trying circumstances. As President John F. Kennedy once said about the challenge of getting to the moon, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade … not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.”

Of course, putting a man on the moon is a vastly different challenge than passing a highway bill that solves our nation’s infrastructure problems. But, like a moon landing, passage of an effective highway bill is a challenge that requires problem-solving.

Hopefully, the developments that emerge during “infrastructure week” serve as a good early step in solving one of our nation’s greatest problems.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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