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Chief of Engineers Speaks About Infrastructure

Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, the Corps of Engineers chief of engineers and USACE commanding general, spoke on July 3, at a Civil Works Infrastructure roundtable conference about some of the major challenges the country faces and the possible solutions.

The American Society of Civil Engineers graded the U.S. infrastructure a D plus.

“Constructions in the early days including lighthouses, jetties, piers and harbors. [We] carefully mapped navigation channels of the country,” Bostick said. “The challenge we face is that infrastructure is aging – the infrastructure that facilitates our economic growth, our quality of life, environmental health, our national security. It’s beginning to decline.”

“What worries me the most is that we will not react soon enough,” Bostick said. “We are good at responding to disasters. When the American people are in trouble, this country stands up like no other.”

Bostick proposes that the U.S. needs to invest $3.6 trillion in civil works by 2020. He championed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act 2014, which included 34 authorized projects for flood risk management, ecosystem restoration and navigation.

“There’s got to be a partnership between the environmental community and the Corps of Engineers,” Bostick said. “And industries have a role in this too.”

Bostick became the 53rd chief of engineers in 2012. He has served as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and as a special assistant to the secretary of Veteran Affairs.

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