Crumbling infrastructure the result of lack of investment in the nation's most vital systems.

The nation's lack of investment in the most critical infrastructure systems is costing the American public time, money and affecting every citizen's quality of life. The conditions of our roadways, bridges, drinking water systems, electrical grids and other public works are all in need of desperate repair and to make matters worse, will only cost the taxpayer more money if the investments are not made now. The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is calling on Congress to invest in America's infrastructure, create jobs and help get the economy rolling again.

"We can't have a first class economy without a first class infrastructure. The federal investment in our nation's infrastructure has not kept pace with inflation. The needs for building and maintaining safe and efficient roadways, sufficient energy distribution and providing for our nation's drinking water and wastewater needs must be a national priority," said Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC CEO.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)'s 2003 Progress Report for America's Infrastructure little progress has been made since the organization's 2001 report, which rated 12 infrastructure categories at a discouraging D+ overall and estimated the need for a $1.3 trillion investment to bring conditions to acceptable levels. Today's estimated cost has increased to $1.6 trillion. AGC joins with ASCE in calling for Congress to increase the nation's investment in America.

Sandherr concluded, "What this report card concludes and what AGC has been educating Congress about for years is that major investments are needed in the nation's infrastructure. But the construction industry does not just build and maintain our nation's infrastructure; it provides real jobs, with real wages and builds our quality of life. In other words, Construction = Jobs = Growth."

Federal investment in America's infrastructure benefits the entire economy. For example, for every billion dollars in federal highway investment 47,500 jobs are created. Overall, the construction industry provides 6.8 million jobs. In addition, the value of construction put in place for the year 2002 was more than $860 billion or about 8 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product.

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) represents more than 35,000 firms, including 7,500 of America's leading general contractors, and over 12,000 specialty contracting firms. More than 14,000 service providers and suppliers are associated with AGC through a nationwide network of chapters.

Source: Associated General Contractors of America