There has been a lot of talk about infrastructure in the world lately. In the United States, infrastructure has been a hot topic in the government as the current president is calling for a major overhaul of all roads and bridges and technology. With climate change causing flooding and rising waters and unusual weather patterns, major cities are seeing how they have not been built to withstand all of the change. Fixing infrastructure is a good thing on a variety of levels and here is why.
Reduce the Damage From Flooding
New York City has seen major rainstorms in the past few years that are out of the ordinary for such a major city. Although the island of Manhattan is surrounded by water, rarely does the water rise above the street level. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy moved across New York City and caused river and sea water to rise so much, it spilled over onto the streets and filled up the subways.
Since then, New York has tried to make major improvements to their drainage so that it can take on a huge amount of water. What many people may not realize is that Manhattan has a long incline and is far enough above sea level that when waters flood, the water fills low lying areas.
With proper drainage and a major overhaul of the sewer system to be able to catch water and drain it into the river will reduce subway and low lying areas from taking on too much water. Keeping the streets clean and water drains free of debris is also a huge help.
You Can Replace Existing Materials With Greener Materials
When you are renovating areas that are made of blacktop or concrete, there’s an opportunity to use greener materials that are good for the environment. Concrete is not a good material to use if you are being environmentally conscious. Concrete leaves a huge carbon footprint, and many industrial makeovers are switching to something that works a bit better for Mother Earth.
Hempcrete is the latest wave in sustainable materials that won’t damage the Earth. Hempcrete is made from exactly what its name suggests: hemp. Hemp is plant-based and found in nature, but it is still just as durable as concrete and just as easy to use in building construction and ground construction as well. New buildings can also use hemp for insulation, which keeps buildings just as warm as regular insulation, but it is better for everyone that works or lives in that finished structure.
Roads Can Be Made to Last Longer
Asphalt on its own is pretty environmentally sound. Asphalt doesn’t give off too many greenhouse gasses, and it doesn’t take a lot of energy to produce or use asphalt in construction. When roads are made better, they can be raised a bit in the middle to make water runoff faster and easier and reduce the risk of flooding. With devices like an adjustable manhole riser, even though the street has been raised, that doesn’t mean the manhole has to remain recessed causing potential water collection that can break up the road and cause potholes.
Fixing roads will make life easier on your car or your bike, which will save you money and time and extend the life of your vehicle.
Infrastructure Creates Jobs
The biggest perk to improving infrastructure is the creation of jobs. In a time when much of the world’s economy is being hit by lack of work or industries shutting down due to major health crisis events, being able to create jobs is essential.
Workers need to be hired to install new technologies, construct buildings, dig up roads, and find new and powerful ways to renovate streets and buildings. A lot of these jobs require a certain skill, and with a specialized skill comes a higher payday. People looking to switch careers will have the opportunity to learn something new and then apply it right away to their financial benefit.
Renovations Make Room For Sustainable Energy
One of the newer technologies that is included in the renovation of infrastructure is adding clean energy to the plan. As towns and cities are correcting old mistakes in replacing materials that are not good for the environment, engineers can also replace energy that is not good for the environment.
When cities replace their light poles, they can add solar panels to the lamps in order to use solar power to illuminate the city. For other areas that have ample space within their borders, a lot of places are starting to add wind turbines in open fields or off coasts in order to harness renewable energy and use it.
What’s great about building wind turbines or making all new commercial buildings equipped with solar panels has been the need to hire people to make it all happen. Renewable energy creates even more jobs.
Infrastructure Renovation Makes Life Safer
One of the most important aspects of infrastructure renovations is making bridges and buildings safer. Many bridges in the world are crumbling, and if the wrong amount of weight gets on one of them, it can all come tumbling down. Fixing bridges helps make travel safer for families and individuals everywhere.
The same goes for cities that take an annual look at the facades of buildings to ensure that all bricks are properly secure to prevent any of them from falling on pedestrians. If a building is not properly inspected, then a lot of the structure can be compromised and the threat of the entire building collapsing can become a real issue.
Collapsing is also a major threat to tunnels, especially tunnels that go under bodies of water. New materials are available to ensure that leaks don’t happen and that the structure of the tunnel is not compromised by the immense pressure of the surrounding water. Having funds available for infrastructure helps maintain routine check ups and keeps all materials new and up to date.
New Technologies Are Used
When rebuilding or fixing, a lot of the old ways of doing things have become outdated. To make life easier, newer technologies are being implemented that will help engineers know what needs to be fixed and how. It makes it safer for workers because they won’t have to put themselves in dangerous situations to see if something has a weak spot.
Geospatial data and technology helps in planning infrastructure and making sure everything is working in relation to each other. It’s through this method of research that engineers can see the bigger picture of what works where and for how long. Geospatial data also marks and follows infrastructure for years to see what changes and improvements need to be made as time goes on, and that data helps to keep people safe.
Engineers Can Battle the Elements
In places that have a high frequency of tornadoes, having the property infrastructure can help keep people safe. Buildings can be built to withstand high winds, and those same buildings can be made to keep people safe by providing durable shelter during major storms. A lot of times big storms that spawn tornadoes also produce large hail, and buildings and windows can be made to resist damage from these kinds of storms.
The same goes for areas that are prone to earthquakes. Not only can roads, overpasses, and bridges be made to stay together as much as possible during an earthquake, but buildings as well. In California in the United States, some buildings are built with their foundations surrounded by water. This technology helps the building stay upright if the ground starts moving.
Flying is stressful enough, but if you have an airport that is not up to code or is showing signs of wear and tear, that makes the experience worse. Airports need to have the latest in technology in order to keep up with the times and to keep passengers informed. The speed at which people can get the information they need the better. Airports also need active and fully functional runways, clean places to eat and rest, and escalators that work, signs that are correct, and roads into and out of the airport that are usable so people can leave and arrive safely.
A better built airport also means that it will be more secure. With improved technology there is going to be updated detectors and equipment to ensure luggage is properly scanned and passengers are properly screened. Better infrastructure also means better security cameras so that law enforcement can keep a better eye on everyone, and you will have peace of mind that all is well.
As you can see, infrastructure affects just about all aspects of life from where we get our energy to how we travel and get around town. This is why infrastructure renovation is so important. Using new technologies and creating new jobs is great for the economy, so by funding infrastructure reform means that you can not only make your city or town look better, but prosperous too.