31Mar 2014

Repairing America’s Infrastructure – One Slab at a Time

By Robert Armstead

You do not have to be an engineer or politician to know how bad America’s infrastructure has become. In fact, anyone who regularly sits in traffic on their daily commute can testify to how critical our aging transportation systems are. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) says that America must invest $3.6 trillion in our infrastructure by 2020, yet between the Obama administration’s 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the 2013 Fix-It-First program, in the last four years there has only been a total of $71 billion allocated for repairs and upgrades to the nation’s highways, bridges, tunnels, overpasses and ports.

Uretek's team stabilizing a drainage pipe.
Uretek’s team stabilizing a drainage pipe.

When we consider that 70,000 bridges in the U.S. are in disrepair, it is a policy no-brainer that they should be fixed. Unfortunately, because of the current congressional dysfunction, coming up with a solution and the money to save America’s crumbling infrastructure seems next to impossible, yet is so clearly in the nation’s best interest. Until Congress can come up with a long-term plan, the responsibility of employing a “fix-it-first approach” falls squarely on the shoulders of the Department of Transportation in each State.

With each State ensuring that preventive maintenance and repair of the existing roads is the highest priority for spending, there are many benefits:

  • It will ultimately reduce maintenance costs at a later date.
  • It will support investment in areas that are already served by existing transportation infrastructure, preventing urban sprawl.
  • It will also produce more jobs because a greater portion of the budget will be devoted to salaries for maintenance crews than for equipment and land acquisition.

Providing a safe transportation route for families that rely on these systems is the priority. Minimizing long-term costs to taxpayers and inconvenience to motorists are the goals.

URETEK Holdings is focused on meeting these goals for our nation’s infrastructure. The URETEK cost-effective approach of fixing and repairing the pieces of the infrastructure that are slipping and sliding provides significant structural improvement while reducing the maintenance deficit. URETEK’s non-invasive method of soil stabilization, utilizing lightweight, expanding structural polymers, saves both time and money for the federal, state, and local departments tasked with maintaining our nation’s infrastructure.