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A view of the Cypress St. area looking East toward downtown Tampa, FL along the I-275 reconstruction project, while Phase 3 Median Construction is in progress.
Skanska Looking east toward downtown Tampa, Fla. along the I-275 reconstruction project.

Something I get very tired of hearing about these days is “our crumbling infrastructure” with its obvious image of disintegrating concrete. Certainly it’s true that there’s a lot of bad concrete pavement around, as well as cracked bridge piers and beams. And we have not always done a good job maintaining our dams and water systems. But there is also a lot of concrete (and asphalt and steel) that has served its purpose for many years and remains in excellent condition. The vast majority of water systems provide clean drinkable water—and I’ve actually lived in Flint. If you’ve traveled in other countries around the world you will have seen that the infrastructure in the United States is comparatively good—not always great, but good. The “crumbling infrastructure” just seems to be another plank in the platform of how our nation is failing and in such disastrous condition and I just don’t buy it.

Sure, there are challenges that we must address and making a significant investment in our infrastructure is imperative, but it needs to be done wisely and with a clear vision of the future. That’s why we are announcing a new conference to be held in Cleveland in the fall of 2017 we are calling The Infrastructure Imperative, Building a Smarter Tomorrow. Over a day-and-a-half we will try to pinpoint the priority challenges, hear about successful projects that demonstrate solutions, and then look to the future for long-term answers. Leading experts will discuss financing for infrastructure, creating durable structures, increasing construction productivity, and the technology that will help us in these efforts. Participants will leave feeling inspired and renewed for the hard work ahead.

We won’t solve the world’s problems in 36 hours, but we have to start somewhere. Let me know if you have any thoughts on “our nation’s crumbling infrastructure” or, maybe instead, its shining future. If you want to be notified when registration opens, click here and put your name on the list.