The American Society of Civil Engineers recently released Kentucky’s Infrastructure Report Card. The results highlight the serious need for improvements to roads, bridges and more. We must begin to plan appropriately for the future with significant investments to transportation infrastructure.
Infrastructure networks are interconnected, aging, and struggling to perform. A multipronged approached is the best way to ensure adequate investments to all our systems. For example, significant investments in roads are only worth as much as the matching investment in repairing and upgrading underground pipelines – if subsurface pipes leak under new roads, double the work must be done.
Rural communities require significant funding to repair aging infrastructure. Metropolitan areas with higher population densities can more easily leverage taxes and funding. Smaller towns and municipalities must use their limited funds more strategically. Initiatives like Bridging Kentucky and SHIFT work to address funding issues statewide.
Various Kentucky groups believe working together to improve infrastructure funding is key to growth. The Kentucky Infrastructure Coalition is made up of manufacturers, farmers, engineers, local leaders and more than 40,000 transportation workers who understand that safe, reliable, efficient transportation is essential to Kentucky’s economy. The Coalition supports long-term, sustainable funding that provides adequate revenues for all modes of transportation so our state can maintain the infrastructure we have today and build what we need for our future.
A growing number of progressive cities and states are also turning to P3s to advance their initiatives. According to P3 expert Mary Scott Nabers, state, local and education markets were hot sectors in 2018. She noted that the largest number of procurements in 2018 were related to construction, operations and professional services. Those industry sectors will continue to see significant contracting opportunities in 2019.
Whether investments come from joint partnerships between public and private sectors, through adjustments to taxes or other innovate financing options, upgrades to Kentucky infrastructure are critical to growing the economy.