Page 8: of Marine News Magazine (January 2021)

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COVID-19’s Impacts on

American Infrastructure

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

Marine News

Marine News is the premier magazine of the North American Inland, coastal and Offshore workboat markets.