A Thank You to the Unseen Infrastructure Workers, Blog Post
When we think of frontline or essential workers, we often think of healthcare providers, fire and emergency response personnel, and manufacturers who keep production lines running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We can’t forget when it comes to keeping our nation moving forward, infrastructure workers are, quite literally, on the front line. Those working on infrastructure-related construction projects – building and repairing highways, bridges, dams, underground pipelines and more – put themselves in harm’s way each and every day. Their jobs are dangerous, and necessary to keep our critical infrastructure safe and intact.
The need for infrastructure updates may be more important now than ever. According to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s analysis of federal data, more than a third of American bridges are in need of repair or complete replacement, with a cost of nearly $164 billion. At the current pace of repair, those updates would take more than half a century.
While summer is often referred to as “construction season,” it seems this summer may be even better timing than most to conduct work on roads, highways and bridges. With many Americans still working from home and fewer people on the roads, some government entities are doubling down on infrastructure projects to accelerate timelines. This will help limit the effect these projects have in the future when traffic resumes and people return to their more robust, everyday lives outside of home.
Increased transportation and infrastructure investments have also been said to help stabilize the economy through direct job creation and retention, while putting in place capital assets to enhance U.S. productivity. This will help jump start the economy, create jobs and renew the country’s infrastructure for the future.
In addition to the plethora of current repair needs, many cities are looking at new infrastructure projects. Due to COVID-19, many people now consider driving safer than public transportation, so there is an added need to widen and fix streets and bridges to allow for easier transportation. Cities are also considering wider sidewalks and protected bike lanes for those that are walking and biking more, allowing for easier social distancing throughout a prolonged period of time.
At WCCO, we support infrastructure industries through our work with road building and aggregate applications, construction recycling and other heavy industry operators that use our belts to help get the job done on-site. We’re also a family-owned business and appreciate the sacrifice it takes to leave your families on a daily basis to work in an environment that is inherently risky. And as an essential business ourselves, we know the anxiety, uncertainty and struggles during these times.
From all of us to you, the essential infrastructure workers that never missed a beat, thank you for all you’ve done and will continue to do, regardless of what is going on in our world.