Page 8: of Marine News Magazine (January 2021)
COVID-19’s Impacts on
It goes without saying that America’s vast network of Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). From 2016 to 2025, the ports and inland waterways are crucial to the ? ow of mari- country will underinvest in its infrastructure by $2 trillion, time commerce, but these vital parts of U.S. infrastructure according to the 2017 ASCE Infrastructure Report Card.
also play a big role in driving the greater national economy, A tumultuous and challenging 2020 fraught with the wide- support quality of life and ensure public health and safety. spread and enduring effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has
Still, no matter how clear and obvious the bene? ts, U.S. made a dif? cult situation even more so. It’s worth noting that infrastructure as a whole (including roads, energy grids and, a sizable portion of existing infrastructure systems are sup- yes, ports and waterways among others) has fallen victim to ported with user-generated revenue streams. With the onset of underinvestment. It’s been this way for decades. In 2019, the pandemic, commercial water use is down, commuters are the U.S. spent just 2.5% of its GDP on infrastructure, staying off the roads and away from transit, and airports are down from 4.2% in the 1930s, according to the American virtually empty. Meanwhile, municipal and state budgets are © Kirk / Adobe Stock 8 | MN January 2021