Walking the Walk

Walking the Walk

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities.

A pedestrian in the Bronx recently experienced firsthand the danger of the country’s crumbling infrastructure when a sidewalk collapsed and dropped him 15 feet into a dark, rat-infested chamber. He waited for 30 minutes while rescue crews worked to get him out.

While sidewalk failures pose an unusually high risk in New York City, which sits precariously atop underground vaults and tunnels, many communities throughout the country grapple with deteriorating infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Now, Joe Biden’s election provides a real opportunity to move forward with the modern, sustainable projects needed to strengthen the country’s transportation networks and keep the people using them safe.

Building new sidewalks, trails and bicycle lanes would not only facilitate exercise and increase communities’ livability but also help millions of Americans cross railways safely, access public transit, and get to work.

And tackling these projects with American-made materials and union labor would jump-start the nation’s economy, especially as part of a broader infrastructure campaign that also includes upgrades to roads, bridges and rails.

That’s exactly what Biden envisions in his Build Back Better economic revival plan. Now, Congress needs to work with Biden to implement the plan so Americans can rebuild the infrastructure that’s collapsing under their feet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stronger Together

Stronger Together

Union Matters

Powering America

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities.

Fierce thunderstorms, heavy snows and unusually powerful hurricanes ravaged America’s fragile power grid and plunged millions into darkness this year.

And even as these natural disasters wreaked havoc across the country, COVID-19 stay-at-home orders sparked a surge in residential electrical demand, placing new stress on a failing system.

A long-overdue overhaul of the nation’s electrical infrastructure would not only ensure America continues functioning during a crisis but help to reinvigorate the pandemic-shattered economy.

Built in the 1950s and 60s, most of America’s electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure lives on borrowed time. Engineers never designed it to withstand today’s increasingly frequent and catastrophic storms fueled by climate change, let alone the threats posed by hackers and terrorists.

To ensure a reliable power supply for homes, schools and businesses, America needs to invest in a more resilient, higher capacity grid.

That means either burying electrical lines or insulating above-ground wires and replacing wooden utility poles with structures made of steel or concrete. Other strategies include creating a battery-storage system to provide backup power, building coastal barriers to protect infrastructure against storm surge and further diversifying into wind and solar production.

Also, a shift toward more localized generation and distribution networks would limit the impact of any one power outage.

Making these upgrades with U.S.-made materials and labor will both stimulate the economy and protect national security. American steelworkers, tradespeople and manufacturing workers have the expertise to build a power grid strong enough to weather whatever storms come America’s way.

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