A resolution requesting President Barack Obama and the United States Congress to select public infrastructure improvements as the priority activity of the United States to upgrade the current substandard infrastructure of the nation, strengthen the national economy, and support healthy and vibrant communities in the United States.

WHEREAS, infrastructure represents the foundation upon which the United States has been developed; and

WHEREAS, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has provided a comprehensive assessment of the major infrastructure serving the nation; and

WHEREAS, in March 2013, the ASCE submitted a Report Card for America’s Infrastructure that evidenced an immediate need to upgrade dams, drinking water systems, hazardous waste sites, wastewater facilities, bridges, inland waterways, roads, schools, and energy facilities; and

WHEREAS, the Report Card cumulative grade of the national infrastructure is a D+; and

WHEREAS, of the 84,000 dams in the United States, 14,000 are high-hazard structures and more than 4,000 dams are designated as deficient; and

WHEREAS, the drinking water infrastructure is nearing the end of its useful life illustrated by an estimated 240,000 water main breaks per year in the United States according to the American Water Works Association (AWWA); and

WHEREAS, there exist 1,280 hazardous waste sites in the United States on the National Priorities List with an unknown number of potential sites yet to be identified, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 25% of Americans live within three miles of a hazardous waste site; and

WHEREAS, fixing and expanding the existing the wastewater pipes will address the sanitary sewer overflows, combined sewer overflows, and other pipe related issues; and

WHEREAS, the installation of new pipes, the construction of new plants, and the purchase of new equipment will eliminate combined sewer overflows; and

WHEREAS, according to the Bureau of Transportation there exist 250,272,812 registered vehicles in the United States that result in over 200 million trips taken daily across deficient bridges in the nation’s 102 largest metropolitan regions; and

WHEREAS, there exist 607,380 bridges in the United States with an average age of 42 years; and

WHEREAS, the nation’s inland waterways and rivers, which represent the backbone of our national freight system, have not been updated since the 1950s; and

WHEREAS, the substandard inland waterways system has resulted in unscheduled delays to the barges from obtaining access to their destination, preventing goods from getting to market and driving up costs; and

WHEREAS, 42% of major American urban roadways remain congested, which has resulted in highway fatalities and a continued physical decay in the nation’s roadways; and

WHEREAS, approximately 50% of the public schools serving our nation were built to serve the baby boomers – a generation that is now retiring from the workforce - and are at least 55-60 years old; and

WHEREAS, the United States reliance on an aging electrical grid and pipeline distribution system, ongoing permitting issues, weather events, and limited maintenance have contributed to an increasing number of failures and power interruptions; and

WHEREAS, the needed improvements to the national infrastructure was an important issue during the 2008 Presidential campaign; and

WHEREAS, the overdue infrastructure maintenance needs have been neglected by federal, state, and local officials; and

WHEREAS, the immense infrastructure serving our nation requires modernization and a dedicated long-term funding source to allow for infrastructure improvements to be addressed more appropriately in the future.


Section 1. That the Metropolitan County Council hereby goes on record as requesting that President Barack Obama and the United States Congress designate improvements to national infrastructure as a major priority domestic activity.

Section 2. That the federal government is further requested to establish a dedicated long-term funding source to address the upgrades to the national infrastructure.

Section 3. That the Metropolitan Clerk is directed to send a copy of this Resolution to President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, Governor Bill Haslam, and Mayor Karl Dean.

Section 4. That this Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Bruce Stanley, Ronnie Steine


Referred to: Rules & Confirmations Committee
Introduced: October 7, 2014
Deferred: October 7, 2014
Deferred: October 21, 2014
Substitute Introduced: November 4, 2014
Adopted: November 4, 2014
Returned Unsigned by Mayor: November 5, 2014

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615/862-6770.