BY DYLAN ALBERGO, PE, FBPE Chair (2023)
Boomtown! Florida is experiencing unprecedented growth, reaching the coveted position of the fastest-growing state in the country, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
It’s hardly a secret why, with beautiful weather, beaches, low taxes, great engineers… Florida is where people want to live!
Of course, unprecedented growth doesn’t always lead to sunshine and rainbows, it sometimes leads to traffic jams and headaches. The infrastructure improvements we planned for tomorrow were needed yesterday.
State and local governments plan for infrastructure-improvement projects years in advance, but now those timelines are being adjusted forward to meet the growing demand. Engineers have a great opportunity to step up to the plate with new and innovative ideas that exceed all expectations.
Henry Ford once said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
Florida hasn’t failed, it’s a thriving state. But with the changes experienced and the rate at which circumstances have changed, there is an opportunity to rethink what the future of Florida’s infrastructure looks like.
As of September 2023, Florida has 43,116 active, licensed Professional Engineers, the third largest cohort in the nation. A large community of highly educated, experienced, and intelligent professionals dedicated to advancing society and protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public. We are going to need every single one of them to solve the challenges we face today.
American’s budgets are stretched thin as record levels of inflation persist. It was just last year that the United States saw the steepest increase in inflation since 1981.
Substandard infrastructure straps the American family even further. There is a very real and felt economic cost to poor infrastructure. According to ASCE’s Failure to Act report, “Infrastructure is the physical framework upon which the U.S. economy operates, and our standard of living depends. This framework enables us to move goods, power businesses of all sizes, connect people to jobs and services, heat and cool office buildings, and enjoy a glass of clean water.”
Florida and its engineers are positioned to lead the nation forward with creative, intelligent, and innovative solutions to our infrastructure needs… as long as that position is not stuck in a traffic jam on I-4 or I-75 for no apparent reason.
Dylan Albergo, PE, of Tampa, specializes in bridge design and engineering project management. He served as FBPE vice chair in 2022, and is chair of the special inspector rules committee and serves on the application review and the FEMC operations committees.