A critical component to the restoration of the Gulf Coast is long-term investment in waterway infrastructure projects by Congress and the executive branch, according to the Associated General Contractors of America, which is calling on Congress to reauthorize the Water Resources Development Act.
Past flood damage reduction projects alone have prevented an estimated $706 billion in damages, says the group.
“The up-front cost of long-term investments to prevent flooding and storm damage pales in comparison to the cost of clean-up and restoration after the fact,” said Stephen Sandherr, chief executive of AGC.
WRDA would authorize funding for major navigation, flood control and environmental restoration projects carried out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Without congressional action, no new water resources development activity will be authorized to fill these functions, Sandherr said.
“Further inaction by Congress on a comprehensive plan would undermine the national flood protection efforts which have been saving lives and property for nearly two centuries,” he said.