An essential component of keeping our society and nation strong is our infrastructure. Without infrastructure—roads, water supply, wastewater management, ports, waterways—there is no civilization. Infrastructure can be private, such as in your own home or office building or factory, or public, but it’s all the stuff that makes our civilization work. You don’t scrimp on the water and wastewater systems in your own home—if there’s a leaky pipe you get it fixed—so why does our nation put off fixing essential infrastructure when we know that without it our civilization will collapse?

But the public is justifiably skeptical about the expense and quality of the infrastructure we have been building. When they drive past a 15 year old bridge and see rust stains and spalling concrete they wonder why infrastructure projects take so long and cost so much and don’t seem to perform as promised.

To begin to address these issues, this fall, Hanley Wood will present a new conference we are calling the Infrastructure Imperative. Over two days we will address three key topics in infrastructure design and construction: streamlining project delivery, increasing construction productivity, and designing and building resilient infrastructure. Each of the three sessions is led by an industry expert. Anne Ellis, formerly with AECOM and past president of the American Concrete Institute, will moderate the streamlining session. Gregg Schoppman, a principal with FMI, heads up the session on productivity. Looking into resilience and durability will be Jacques Marchand, founder and CEO of Simco and an international expert on concrete durability.

As a special keynote at the Infrastructure Imperative, we will have Tom Smith, executive director of the American Society of Civil Engineers, who will review the results of ASCE’s infrastructure report card. You may recall that the 2017 overall grade was a D+, hardly the sort of grade one expects for the richest country on earth.

The Infrastructure Imperative will take place November 13 to 15 in Cleveland. To learn about all of the other great panelists who will be at the conference or to register, click here. If you have specific questions, let me know.