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As civil engineers, we understand better than anyone the aging state of the nation’s infrastructure in virtually every sector. That makes it incumbent upon us to speak up in our communities. As you know, this has been a central tenet of ASCE’s Vision for Civil Engineering in 2025, yet it is becoming increasingly clear around the country that the time to speak up is not in 2025, but now.
The other day I was sent a link to a strong op-ed piece by a Minnesota engineer and a longtime active member, Thomas Eggum, F.ASCE, that ran in the St. Paul Pioneer Press website. Headlined Minnesota’s infrastructure needs attention now, Eggum explained the urgency to readers and part of what made someone like him qualified to express it:
“Engineers like me, and other public works professionals, are trying to leverage … public trust [in us] to issue a wakeup call to every Minnesotan: After decades of letting our public investments dwindle in infrastructure we all use every day – roads, bridges, sewers – those systems are at risk of failing,” Eggum wrote. “… We need to act now. If you are like me, you don’t want to leave a shameful legacy of neglect to your children and grandchildren.”
Eggum is on the steering committee for MN2050, a coalition of Minnesota engineering and infrastructure professional organizations working together to alert state residents to the need to address serious infrastructure deficiencies. ASCE’s Minnesota Section is a gold-level sponsor.
Uniting our voices with others speaking the same language is one great way to get ourselves heard. Consider pulling together the forces of like mind for an infrastructure coalition in your community. Is there something like MN2050 you’re a part of, or would like to form? Please share below any successes that resulted from speaking up, either individually or as part of such a coalition.