ASCE summit seeks solutions to nation's infrastructure needs

ASCE's newly formed Civil Engineering Innovation Forum (CEFI) will host an Infrastructure Solutions Summit, April 25- 26, in Washington, D.C., to bring together leaders in industry, government and academia to define innovative ways and progressive strategies to respond to crisis over $1.6 trillion in needs over next five years...

RESTON, VA, Feb. 10, 2006 -- The U.S. infrastructure crisis is widespread and well documented, with a price tag of $1.6 trillion over five years, according to data reflected in the American Society of Civil Engineers' 2005 Report Card for America's Infrastructure. ASCE's newly formed Civil Engineering Innovation Forum (CEFI) will host an Infrastructure Solutions Summit, April 25- 26, 2006, in Washington, D.C., to bring together leaders in industry, government and academia to define innovative ways and progressive strategies to respond to this crisis. The session will examine various aspects of the crisis and then develop a blueprint for actions to renew and rebuild infrastructure through innovation.

"This summit will take a hard look at how innovation can help our nation effectively tackle the challenge of rebuilding our decaying infrastructure," said ASCE President Dennis R. Martenson, P.E., DEE, F.ASCE. "Every day our citizens have to face the dangers of failing infrastructure--congested highways, corroding bridges and overflowing sewers--that are constant reminders of the looming crisis jeopardizing our nation's prosperity and our daily lives."

The summit will consider the role of the private sector in national infrastructure solutions, key barriers to innovation, the importance of a national infrastructure agenda and related public policy issues. CEFI, established in January 2006 by the ASCE Board of Direction, is comprised of leaders in the profession committed to encouraging innovation to renew infrastructure. The Forum is charged with developing strategies through innovation with emphasis on advancing technology, project performance, industry productivity and partnership with government entities.

"Industry leaders working together in this summit can contribute so much to our work and help us make successful forward strides to improve our infrastructure and thereby support jobs, transportation, and environmental and economic advances," said Ed Richardson, P.E., chairman of CEFI's Board of Direction and senior vice president and manager of engineering for Bechtel Corporation. "ASCE believes our profession shares common goals with American citizens _ to achieve a better way of life and to find innovative ways to sustain our quality of life and a strong economy."

"Innovative private and public sector leaders sharply focused on advancing technology, project performance and industry productivity can make great progress toward turning around the state of America's infrastructure.

This 'innovative' task for the leaders of our fragmented industry is to unite, shape the roadmap and take the first step in a very purposeful marathon," said Joseph A. "Bud" Ahearn, P.E., chairman of CEFI's Industry Leaders Council and vice chairman of CH2M HILL Companies, Ltd.

Topics on the summit's agenda include:
• ASCE Report Card for America's Infrastructure; A Blueprint for Moving from Awareness to Action
• The Role of the Private Sector
• Understanding Public Opinion
• Approaches to Advocacy
• Project Financing and Barriers to Innovation
• A National Infrastructure Agenda
• Politics and Decisions Affecting Infrastructure
• Infrastructure as a Social Issue
• Civil Engineers as Leaders

Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers (www.asce.org) represents more than 139,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society.

The Infrastructure Security Partnership (TISP) was established following the tragic events of September 11, 2001 as a forum for U.S.-based public and private sector non-profit organizations to collaborate on issues regarding the resilience of the nation's critical infrastructure from all hazards, natural and man-made, through effective and efficient planning, design, construction and operation. Membership includes more than 100 organizations and agencies representing more than 1.5 million individuals and firms. For more information, visit www.tisp.org.

Also see:
-- "National task force unveils guide to improve disaster preparedness"
-- "New leadership forum to advise ASCE in facing broad civil engineering challenges"

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