Folks in the United States have heard a lot in the past few years about our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. That’s with good reason. There’s little doubt that we have plenty of shoring up to do.
“In May of this year, the American Society of Civil Engineers released an economic study examining the nation’s investment in infrastructure and its economic consequences,” according to an ASCE article published earlier this week noting the one-year anniversity of the FAST (News - Alert) Act. “The study found the U.S. was on track to invest about $940 million in surface transportation over the next decade (from all levels of government and the private sector), leaving a $1.1 trillion gap.
“This underinvestment will have a cascading impact on the nation’s economy, impacting productivity, GDP, employment, personal income, international competitiveness and, most importantly, public safety,” the ASCE wrote. “Every year this investment gap, along with that of other infrastructure categories, is not addressed it will cost American families $3,400.”
The good news is that it’s not all bad news when it comes to the country’s vital services and mission-critical infrastructure. Indeed, Jersey Central Power & Light recently announced that it has completed upgrades on more than 80 major circuits this year to enhance customer reliability.
“Overall, the power grid modernization work will help reduce the number and duration of service interruptions for more than 113,000 customers in central and northern New Jersey,” according to an Electric Light and Power report.
The article when on to quote Tony Hurley, vice president of operations for JCP&L, who commented that: "Circuit upgrades serve an important role in enhancing service to customers. As we prepare for the upcoming winter season, the work that has been completed will help prevent or reduce the duration of service interruptions to customers."
That’s probably true. But the fact remains that while the grid upgrade will be beneficial, it won't eliminate outages altogether. That said, businesses would be wise to recognize that and make sure they have backup power systems in place that will support their needs in the event of outages.
Of course, in some cases we must rely on governments and other entities to take care of some of our mission-critical infrastructure needs, or suffer the consequences. But in other cases, like universal power supplies, we can make these important decisions and investments on our own.