Infrastructure Research Needs

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1984, Vol. 54, Issue 9, Pg. 58-60

Document Type: Feature article


ASCE and the National Science Foundation sponsored a workshop on infrastructure research needs. Highlights are summarized. It was agreed that far too little money is spent on infrastructure research—the share of budget spent is 1/40th of that for some high-tech industries. Particularly short changed is R&D of the long term, speculative type, much of which will have no payoff. The size of infrastructure budgets is $50 billion or more a year. It was also argued that the potential to manage these programs more cost-effectively is great enough to justify a share of the R&D money for speculative research. In some jurisdictions, much money can be saved by eliminating infrastructure systems that are no longer needed or can no longer be afforded. The workshop developed lists of top-priority research needs in three areas: Transportation, water/wastewater, and highways/streets/bridges.

Subject Headings: Infrastructure | Budgets | Research and development | Federal government | Industries | Jurisdiction | Highways and roads

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