The Association of Equipment Manufacturers is sponsoring a photo contest, seeking images related to American infrastructure. The “I Picture America” contest is intended to spur elected officials into investing more—and more wisely—in infrastructure improvement.
More work on the infrastructure, of course, means more work for the people who make and use the equipment needed to repair, refurbish, and replace the roads, water lines, bridges, transportation systems, and other infrastructure elements, and that benefits AEM’s members. But there is plenty of evidence that the work is needed; for example, the most recent American Society of Civil Engineers’ report card on the state of the country’s infrastructure gives us an overall grade of D in all categories, with nothing higher than a C+ in any category. The ASCE estimates that we need to invest more than $2 trillion over the next five years, and that even with planned spending plus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we’ll still fall short by more than $1.1 trillion.
The photo contest has four categories, focusing about equally on the sites that need fixing and on the workers who will fix them. The “One Bumpy Ride” category asks for photos of decaying roads or bridges. “When We Work, Things Work” includes photos of people hard at work on job sites; “America Grows Here,” photos of farms and agricultural operations; and “Our Many Faces,” photos of individual workers. Winners in each category will receive cash prizes and a trip to Washington, DC.
Do you think this sort of campaign will be effective in drawing attention to the country’s infrastructure problems? Planning on sending in a few photos yourself? You can find more detail and the contest rules here.