ASCE Moves America Forward & Uses Tech Ingenuity for Maryland Infrastructure Report Card Release

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Beyond national press briefings, states rapidly employing COVID-19 response plans and medical experts reinforcing social distancing, the United States is leaning on one other certainty — the power and possibility of adaptation.

Last week, the Maryland Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released its 2020 Report Card for Maryland‘s Infrastructure and, in the midst of a pandemic, the ASCE used technology and proactive thinking to get the job done, according to ASCE Senior Managing Director of Public Affairs Casey Dinges, who recently spoke with the Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) Coalition.

A virtual news conference was the information vehicle, but still allowed for a dynamic event. The report card netted coverage by The Washington Post and WTOP, for example, and included participation from Sen. Ben Cardin; Carrie Nicholson, P.E., Past President of the ASCE Maryland Section and Chair of the 2020 Report Card for Maryland’s Infrastructure; Christine Ross, President & CEO of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce; and Adam Ortiz, Director of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection.

Dinges added that what he calls “ATP” — “a little agility, a little technology and a little practice” — made the digital event work, noting that this can be a lesson during these fluid times.

Congress is putting the finishing touches on a COVID-19 response bill as part of federal emergency legislation.

ASCE’s grades also come during a time when Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is receiving praise for his handling of the Coronavirus crisis. The infrastructure grades vary from a B on bridges, to a D+ on public transit, the latter of which has emerged, along with roads and bridges, as a perennial focus in modernizing the nation’s infrastructure and providing long-term funding sources.

Equipped with a trusted brand and ongoing state report cards released at various times since the nation’s infrastructure received an overall grade of D+, ASCE has been at the forefront of pushing the national infrastructure conversation and advocating increased federal investment. America has backlogs, maintenance issues, aging systems and underfunded state programs.

“Infrastructure has been called the backbone of America’s economy, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are also seeing that it is the actual lifeline to our entire country,” said ATM Executive Director Ed Mortimer. “Without surface transportation that connects national and regional commerce and ensures the movement of goods, from American businesses to the public, our nation would be paralyzed right now.”

ASCE is a member of ATM.

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