Obama Opens Era of Hope

Barack H. Obama has been sworn in as the new US President. In these undoubtedly hard times, America and much of the world looks to him as a beacon of hope. Today the celebrations cease and the hard work begins.
And there is plenty of work to do, whether it’s in the US, here in the UK, or across the world. We can hope that President Obama will invest in critical US infrastructure, both for its own sake and to provide an economic stimulus.
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Obama faces a massive bill for neglected infrastructure, estimating it will take some £1 trillion to bring US infrastructure up to an acceptable level. During his election campaign Obama pledged to invest £10 billion in the coming decade to maintain critical infrastructure. Here’s hoping that is just the beginning.
Closer to home, it so happens that even before the credit crunch we already had some truly major infrastructure investments in the pipeline, the 2012 Olympics, Crossrail and Thames Tideway, to name but three. Remember Civils 08 major projects exhibitors are running projects worth £50 billion.
Europe’s largest single infrastructure project Crossrail has now started. It will create some 300,000 jobs and enable 200 million passenger journeys a year. That will be a truly tangible investment to contrast to the staggering losses sweeping the struggling banking sector. And it seems our Government is preparing the way for further investment in infrastructure with the mooted third runway for Heathrow airport and a second High Speed rail line.
Hopefully history will record 2009 and the decade beyond as a period of investment in a sustainable infrastructure that our country, and indeed our world needs.

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