For several days after floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey inundated the City of Beaumont, TX, the city’s 120,000 residents lost water service when several main water intake pumps fell victim to the flood. Beaumont and other cities in the path of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, from Texas to Florida to the Carolinas, are experiencing similar fates with sewage treatment plants, flood control systems, and other water-related facilities. When the water recedes and damages are assessed, water facilities that were already strained (many more than 50 years old) will require replacement or extensive repairs.
At a time when there is scant funding for roads, bridges, water treatment plants, broadband expansion and airport expansions, there seems to be ample funding for urban renewal in most of the country’s major cities. The reason is understandable…infrastructure projects are large and have usually been funded by the state or federal government. Unfortunately, that’s no longer the case – funding at the state and federal levels of government is no longer adequate or readily available.
Describing the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure as a “massive, self-inflicted wound on our country,” President Donald Trump last week signed an executive order designed to help speed the completion of major infrastructure projects nationwide.