It’s no secret that America’s infrastructure is broken. From our energy pipelines to our dams to our transit systems, no one facet of the U.S. infrastructure could reasonably be described as “cutting edge.” An infrastructure overhaul is on its way…but where should it start?
- Start with bridges.
America’s bridges aren’t just in disrepair, they’re dangerous. Literally thousands of U.S. bridges are vulnerable to collapse, more than two-fifths of which are over 50 years old. Bridges aren’t just crucial for moving people and vehicles over spans, they also bring valuable bridge-attached utilities such as telecom, water, sewer, and electricity to citizens. The backlog of broken bridge infrastructure is estimated to cost well over $100 billion, but it’s an investment that must happen to ensure the safety of the American people. Shoring-up bridges will have the additional benefit of maintaining connectivity between geographic areas, keeping domestic shipping costs low, and protecting the utilities those bridges serve.
- Repair, don’t replace.
Many experts are in agreement: Our infrastructure doesn’t need replacing so much as it needs repair. Cities spend drastically-low percentages of their budget each year maintaining their current infrastructure in comparison to how much they spend building new roads, tunnels, and systems. Some states, like Washington, spend over 80% of their annual road budgets building new roads! With the condition of existing systems in a seemingly endless freefall, municipalities must find new ways to expand while providing proper maintenance to the resources already built.
- Focus on transportation.
The term “infrastructure” is nebulous and includes everything from water pipes to rail lines. America’s urban areas are more congested than they’ve ever been; more needs to be done to allow transportation infrastructure to keep up with the pace of growth. Some suggest airports are where spending should start while others focus on the United States’ network of crumbling roadways; Mass transit as a system is underperforming nationwide. Many point to private funding as the answer.
- Eye toward telecom.
Telecommunications networks are based in infrastructure. For the United States to remain a well-connected hub of technology, its telecom networks need upgrading. Much of the country’s telecom infrastructure is aging into obsolescence, relying on outdated copper cables and outmoded technology. The “last mile” of internet infrastructure is an emerging pain-point as are telecommunications hotspots that rely on other infrastructure systems like bridges or pipelines. An investment in the physical health of America’s telecom utilities is an investment in innovation.
Our country’s infrastructure has nowhere to go but up. Aptus works with utility companies, private providers, and governmental agencies to ensure the safety and functionality of America’s bridge-attached utilities. We’ve performed installations, maintenance, and upgrades in nearly every corner of the U.S.
Would you like to find out more about how vital bridge utilities are to the function of modern society? Reach out to us today to talk about your needs for better, higher-performing utilities.