Infrastructure has become such a buzzy word that it’s easy to lose sight of how the presence of a strong infrastructure enables our everyday lives. In celebration of “United for Infrastructure,” leadership of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada reminds us why continuous progress is vital.
Keeping Goods, Services and People Moving
When we boil it down, that’s what infrastructure does, right? Roads and tunnels, bridges and ports, rails and trails, these are what keep us—and our food supplies, homes, and businesses going. As MJ Maynard, CEO of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) shares in the Las Vegas Sun:
Infrastructure provides a mechanism for paramedics to quickly maneuver streets and traffic to efficiently reach a person in distress. It helps the big rig driver navigate highways to bring essential goods to our valley, and it allows for a construction worker to make a good living on a long-term construction project. Infrastructure provides the ability for a newly licensed teenager to drive to school, fostering personal independence, and it supports a growing bike-share program that offers an option for those seeking a more cost-efficient alternative amidst high gas prices… We believe infrastructure is the backbone of our region. It’s the system that keeps goods, services and people moving, and it connects residents and visitors to all the places they want and need to go. Infrastructure is the very foundation of a healthy community with a vibrant economy that supports business and attracts additional investment.
Constructing Progress: Partnerships
Incremental progress on disparate projects, like the repair of roads, the addition of rapid bus lines and the construction of speed rails sometimes feels intangible or even incoherent, but added together, well-coordinated efforts yield big results. For example, in Southern Nevada, the Regional Transportation Commission reports:
Since 2014, our agency partners have begun construction on 483 and design on 109 roadway projects that total $1.97 billion, with 335 of those projects completed. Large-scale projects include building Interstate 11 and reconstructing Flamingo Road. One of the larger projects on the horizon is our bus rapid transit project along Maryland Parkway. These large projects are a big part of the transportation puzzle in any community such as Southern Nevada. The RTC’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) …includes more than $2 billion in projects for design, right-of-way and construction…These projects equate to a tremendous number of jobs that benefit local small and diverse businesses and an economic investment in our community… As a result of the partnership among the RTC, local jurisdictions and our contractors, these projects have generated more than 13,000 jobs for our community.
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It could happen. 180 miles per hour—mow that’s a speedy ride—and it might happen in real time, via plans for an all-electric train connecting Las Vegas and Southern California. According to Engineering News-Record, billionaire investor, Wes Edens, whose Fortress Investment Group owns Brightline West, the electric train project is “at the one yard line.” Brightline anticipates that federal review and issuance of permits will be completed in fall 2022, with contractors announced before the end of the year. It’s been estimated that the project could create 40,000 construction and 1,000 permanent jobs.
Good To Know
United for Infrastructure℠ is a non-profit organization that works “with leaders and citizens around America to highlight the state of our nation’s infrastructure and the projects, policies, and ideas critical to ensuring every American family, worker, business and community is competitive, prosperous, and safe.”
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