An engineer’s perspective on the current state of infrastructure

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With the nationwide conversation of infrastructure growing as President Biden visited superior Wisconsin, civil engineers are now adding their perspective.

We spoke with Jake Brunoehler, President of the South East ASCE Wisconsin Branch, who said the effort Biden is making to improve infrastructure is historic.

"The number of times that infrastructure was mentioned during that State of the Union address set records”, he says.

And he mentions that, for the Twin Ports, fixing the aging infrastructure could help the overall economy.

Brunoehler says, "And so with ports and the roads to get to and from those ports as well as the bridges, I mean we’re talking about some of the most critical bridge infrastructure elements in our country. So as is as the health of those infrastructure systems grow, so does the health of our economic engine."

But when identifying other infrastructure issues they all seem to be under the same umbrella. We asked what elements need the most work and got this response…

"For places like northern Wisconsin. It’s really hard to pick even three elements of infrastructure or structure functioning so holistically,” says Brunoehler.

One issue that sticks out to the ASCE Branch President is the attention to clean drinking water.

He says, “One of the key items that President Biden did focus on during his address was lead service line pipes in drinking water. It’s really good to hear that. That’s getting attention.”

And for the visit to Superior, It could be pretty impactful being the first visit after the State of the Union Address.

“There’s such a narrative that traditionally that first trip after the State of the Union Address is really kind of setting the tone for the coming year. And so the fact that on day one, President Biden is in Superior, Wisconsin, I think that’s it shines a bright spot for better or for worse. It shines a bright spot right here in our own backyard”, says Brunoehler.