The debate about the crumbling and outdated infrastructure of the United States is a crisis. The country’s infrastructure which gauges the health of the nation is at risk of hindering development and quality of life. The U.S. has to take the lead on getting a 21st-century infrastructure in place to accelerate the development of the economy. Making the American Financial Sector well-capitalized with people investing and making money work for them which in-turns strengthen the economy. Following the situation in Flint, Michigan, the long-term damage, it is doing not only to the image of the U.S. but to the welfare of the citizens of that town that needs medical treatment for the rest of their lives. We have to begin the process of upgrading our infrastructure to stop the bleeding in American Cities.
To prevent another Flint, Michigan, I-35W Mississippi River Bridge collapse and looming cyber attack on the U.S. infrastructure. Brian Sheets who is CEO of SKYRON Systems Inc laid out a plan to help get the ball rolling on the badly needed upgrade.
“Upgrading our electric utility infrastructure should be an integral part of the initiative to upgrade our national infrastructure. While roads, the FAA’s new ADS-B ground-based stations, water, wastewater, natural gas, and electric utilities are all different infrastructure issues, their upgrade should be coordinated together as part of a holistic approach to the national infrastructure upgrade initiative. As many studies have recommended, this would also provide an excellent opportunity to evaluate high-risk locations for the installation of underground electric utilities.”
Moving the energy grid underground and starting there can create opportunities for other areas that are of concern to policymakers, construction firms, and corporations:
- Construction related to new or refurbished roadways is an excellent time to incorporate the installation of underground utilities.
- Likewise, when designing the optimal routing of transmission and distribution feeder lines, it would be prudent to consider how new or existing adjacent roadways could be incorporated into the same construction effort.
- Several reports advocated the analysis of at-risk geographic areas which could benefit from the installation of underground utilities. Incorporating this into the national infrastructure upgrade initiative would be timely.
- The increase in construction jobs associated with the infrastructure upgrade would lower unemployment while also contributing more to federal and state coffers in the form of additional income taxes. In so doing, both people and deficit reduction benefit. A portion of this benefit is associated with the Recovery Act which provides $100 million for workforce training.
- Taking a tops-down, singular, holistic design approach will make the resultant design more economical and efficient. Elimination of regional barriers, the unification, and operating specifications & standards, and the standardization of installation protocols will contribute toward a more effective design and project execution.
- A centrally designed infrastructure will lay the foundation for more coordinated improvements in the future, resulting in less future costs.
A piecemeal approach to tackling the tough problems in infrastructure will help put the faith back in politics. The confidence of the nation will rise and the political battles in the future will become to be seen not as a position of strength but from incompetence. 9 benefits are outlined by Brian Sheets that would be a model for other government projects from creating a task force to moving the Energy Grid underground.
- More efficient transmission of electricity
- Quicker restoration of electricity after power disturbances
- Reduced operations and management costs for utilities, and ultimately lower power costs for consumers
- Reduced peak demand, which will also help lower electricity rates
- Increased integration of large-scale renewable energy systems
- Better integration of customer-owner power generation systems, including renewable energy systems
- Improved security
Let’s get this started!
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The mechanism for achieving this goal is Capitalism and Democracy.