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Something Is Rotten in 'Infrastructure Week'

The cause of infrastructure should be easy for people, and planners, to rally behind. But infrastructure's cause, like so many other political issues, invites conflicts of interest.
May 24, 2016, 2pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Andrea Allen

Angie Schmitt critiques Infrastructure Week, commemorated last week, mostly on Twitter (#InfrastructureMatters). Schmitt summarizes the event by calling it "a time where engineering and construction industry groups beat the drum for more money, using big numbers and images of collapsing bridges."

The problem with Infrastructure Week, according to Schmitt, is its focus on spending more money, rather than making better infrastructure.

Infrastructure Week is brought to you by some of the largest engineering firms in the world. The coalition is broader than that, and includes some perspectives that emphasize quality and efficiency. But the driving force is the American Society of Civil Engineers, an organization with plenty of self-interest in bigger public construction budgets.

Schmitt's argument includes additional, specific points about the sometimes-contradictory claims of the American Society of Civil Engineers before coming to the conclusion that the people leading the Infrastructure Week discussion are still catching up to a mature approach to infrastructure.

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Published on Friday, May 20, 2016 in Streetsblog USA
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