The need for efforts to relieve regulatory restrictions, prepare for automated and connected vehicles, and educate the public about how infrastructure is funded were a few of the key themes of the National Symposium on the Barriers and Opportunities for Infrastructure Renewal, held on the Texas A&M University campus at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center Sept. 18. A 16-page executive summary of the symposium, as well as a 2-page highlights document, were released by symposium organizers today.
The symposium brought together national and state policy makers, industry leaders, infrastructure scholars, and executives from the public- and private-infrastructure sectors in a unique, interactive format in which all participants actively contributed ideas and potential solutions for addressing critical infrastructure challenges.
Although focused on transportation, the symposium addressed energy, water and wastewater systems, electric grids, and other systems considered critical infrastructure sectors.
“It’s no secret that Texas and the United States have significant infrastructure needs,” said M. Katherine Banks, Vice Chancellor and Dean of Engineering. “The results of this national symposium, along with other infrastructure initiatives under way in the Engineering Program at the Texas A&M University System’s RELLIS Campus, such as our new Center for Infrastructure Renewal, will help move our country forward in meeting these challenges.”
“Assessing our existing infrastructure to determine how we can make it more resilient and figuring out how best to incorporate advanced technologies to meet tomorrow’s transportation challenges are the focus of a number of TTI research initiatives going forward,” says Texas A&M Transportation Institute Agency Director Greg Winfree. “Deep conversations by thought leaders like those we hosted at the symposium are how we’ll accomplish those goals.”
Keynote speakers at the symposium were: The Honorable Finch Fulton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation, and The Honorable Bill Shuster, U.S. Representative (R-PA); Chairman, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
The partners in organizing the symposium were: The Texas A&M University System, Texas A&M University’s College of Engineering, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M, and the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service.