Businesses, workers, citizens, and elected leaders came together this week to participate in National Infrastructure Week, May 13-20, 2019. The message this year is: America’s future will be shaped by the infrastructure choices we make today. #BuildForTomorrow
One of the many events that took place nationwide was the Midwestern Summit hosted by the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA) and the Michigan Municipal League (MML) held at the Lansing Brewing Company in Lansing, Michigan. State and local leaders discussed a regional strategy for economic success, the future of funding and financing infrastructure, and enhancing connectivity. I was fortunate to attend this summit and have a few key takeaways from the event.
Leading the Urban Infrastructure Renaissance
“People attract businesses. Places attract people. Good infrastructure makes good places.”
~ The Honorable Andy Schor, Mayor of Lansing, MI.
Takeaway #1: Quality infrastructure creates a quality lifestyle that attracts quality citizens. Investing in our towns and villages promotes economic success.
What’s next in Infrastructure Funding and Finance?
“Continuing to do things the way we have done them in the past is not working today regarding transportation. For instance, Michigan has 1,200+ bridges that are structurally deficient. The longer we wait to fix them, the more it will cost to repair them.”
~ Mike Nystrom, Executive Vice President / Secretary, Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association.
Takeaway #2: The first step is educating community members on how infrastructure improvements are funded and financed. The next step is conversations with private and public entities to create and implement viable solutions.
Beyond Asphalt and Concrete: Infrastructure for Place Making
“Successful business is built on human capital and human intellectual property and place attracts people.”
~ Jared Fleisher, Vice President Quicken Loans Family of Companies
Takeaway #3: Private companies are investing in good infrastructure because it is good for business and their employees.
Final Takeaway: Infrastructure is built from the ground up. As geotechnical engineers, we have the opportunity to work with both private and public sectors to build sound, quality infrastructure for this generation and the next.
Mark Stapleton, P.E. is an Associate and Project Manager at G2 Consulting Group. His practice focuses on design and geotechnical instrumentation design and installation.