A few months ago, we were excited to talk about Canada’s movement towards increased infrastructure investment and a greater focus on asset management. Now we are excited to see our neighbours down South making huge moves to improve public infrastructure with the recent signing of a $1.2 trillion spending bill. Nearly half of the bill, about $550 billion, is new investments added on top of the amounts regularly allotted for general infrastructure improvement. The bill would allow for infrastructure investment in a variety of important areas, like roads and bridges, water and sewage, public transit, and power grids, to name a few.
The last American Infrastructure Report card placed the nation at a whopping C-, an improvement over years past. But still, an uncomfortably low place to sit when things like clean drinking water and electricity are riding on said infrastructure. According to infrastructurereportcard.org, nearly half of all public roads in the United States are of poor or mediocre condition, and there is a water main break every 2 minutes. This new infrastructure bill grants unprecedented investment, allowing for the improvement of peoples’ physical space. An investment of this calibre will make way for an increase in the quality of life for many cities. Made possible by allowing for the improvement in services delivered to the public. However, public infrastructure owners must be smart with the dollars. That investment will not just be for building shiny new infrastructure projects either. Most of this bill will need to be funnelled into existing (and ageing!) infrastructure to just maintain the foundations that are already set in place.
As asset managers, we are no strangers to the importance of investing to simply maintain public infrastructure. Assets come with costs that reach beyond just the price of acquiring them. Watch our “Spending Money to Stand Still” video below for a quick and approachable way to understand the importance of investing in infrastructure maintenance.