Infrastructure Week is a collaborative effort of more than 100 business, labor and non-profit groups to raise awareness of the critical role infrastructure plays in our lives and to advocate for investment and improvements.

This year’s theme – Infrastructure Matters – is self-evident. We are proud, and rightly so, of the infrastructure that has enabled us to enjoy a high quality of life. However, we have a tremendous amount of work to do to improve the reliability and safety of our roads, bridges, drinking water, airports, transit systems, dams and pipelines.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recently reported that infrastructure needs over the next 10 years total $3.3 trillion, including a $1.4 trillion gap in investment for the US. In economic terms, these infrastructure deficiencies represent a potential loss of almost $4 trillion in GDP and 2.5 million jobs by 2025. On a personal level, every American family could see a $3,400 reduction in their disposable income over the same time period.

What is the solution? Clearly, there continues to be a need for infrastructure improvements that exceed the capacity of public agencies to fund and execute. Identifying reliable, long-term funding mechanisms has become the greatest issue in achieving real progress.

Amec Foster Wheeler believes that, in addition to establishing secure funding streams at the federal and state levels, Public-Private Partnerships and other alternative financing models are powerful tools to help drive infrastructure improvements. There needs to be a push at all levels of government to fully embrace alternative financing and adopt universal procurement standards. Well-executed Public-Private Partnership projects demonstrate that large and small infrastructure programs can be delivered efficiently, economically and with the public’s trust and interests foremost among project goals.

We are proud to help our customers improve the infrastructure that people rely on around the world. We also count on it every day – to get to the office, to take our families on vacation, to know that the water we drink is safe. It is rewarding to see our work benefits our communities and neighbors.

Infrastructure matters. It isn’t glamorous or flashy, but it is the backbone that continues to need our support. Working together, with a clear direction and focus, we have the opportunity to leave our infrastructure in better shape than we found it.