Reflecting on Infrastructure Week: From Challenges to Transformative Change

Since 2013, Infrastructure Week has aimed to draw attention to the critical role that infrastructure plays in driving economic growth, improving quality of life, and ensuring public safety. 

The week was launched in 2013 by a coalition of business, labor, and policy organizations, including the US Chamber of Commerce, AFL-CIO, and Building America’s Future.

Typically celebrated every May, Infrastructure Week focuses on advocating for and promoting policies and investments to improve the nation’s infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, energy, water, and broadband.

At times, Infrastructure Week has been looked at as a joke. It faced criticism for not producing substantive policy changes and being perceived as a political talking point rather than a serious effort to address the nation’s needs. 

But the consequences of continued inaction were no laughing matter.

If funding wasn’t going to increase, communities would have to start using their resources with increased efficiency. And while these efforts may have improved efficiency slightly, the continued neglect of the system as a whole was still too much. 

The passage of the Infrastructure Bill in 2021 brought a much-needed sense of relief and signaled a significant shift in how our nation approaches infrastructure investment. While it was a positive step forward, it’s important to recognize that the allocation of funds alone does not alleviate the responsibility to utilize them in the most efficient and impactful manner possible.

RoadBotics by Michelin’s technology has been helping communities use their resources efficiently for maximum impact for the last six years – and we know how to celebrate Infrastructure Week! 

Advocating for Change

Through Infrastructure Week’s ups and downs, we’ve continued to advocate for a data-driven approach to maintaining roads, traffic signs, and other assets by drawing attention to the role technology can play in saving time and resources. 

Over the years, we’ve highlighted how our clients and partners are putting our technology to work for their communities. 

In 2020, we participated in United for Infrastructure’s weeklong celebration digitally, due to COVID. 

Locally, we collaborated with our partners from the Pittsburgh Technology Council to highlight the benefits of digitizing infrastructure asset management to ensure objective maintenance practices. 

As part of our RoadBytes web event series, we were thrilled to welcome guest speakers from Kimley Horn, who shared insights on implementing a resilient approach to pavement management. 

To wrap up the week, we had the privilege of being featured on Engaging Local Government Leader’s (ELGL) GovLov podcast, where our client, Savannah, Georgia, discussed their community’s successful implementation of data-driven road maintenance strategies.

In March 2021, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released their report card showcasing the desperate state of infrastructure assets across the board. The ongoing pandemic exacerbated weak points in our overall infrastructure and showed a dire need for action. 

During 2021’s celebration, we emphasized the need to #LeadwithInfrastructure by hosting a web event with civil engineering firm Schaumburg & Polk, Inc. (SPI) and educating communities on the value of a comprehensive view of their assets. We advocated for better long-term maintenance, which begins with understanding the condition and location of each asset in your network. 

Our advocacy efforts were rewarded with the passing of the bi-partisan Infrastructure Bill in late 2021.

For the 10th annual Infrastructure Week in 2022, consistent funding and action was being implemented to improve infrastructure. We excitedly shared 10 Data Driven Decisions for 10 Years of Infrastructure Week, highlighting communities around the country who integrated automated road assessments into their pavement maintenance strategy. 

Our monthly Infrastructure Bill series continued to track the impact of the bill across the country. Plus, we hosted a live demonstration of our automated mapping solution for those still performing manual assessments to see what they were missing. 

This year, we continue to applaud communities that are automating road assessments to save resources and time. On Wednesday, we’re hosting a special edition web event that will showcase how our clients in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and New Mexico are using our technology for long and short-term benefit. 

Join us advocating for a better future, and be a part of the discussion during Infrastructure Week for the benefit of all communities!


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