McKinsey Global Institute released a study this year stating that the world will need $57 Trillion (with a T) infrastructure projects by 2030. That spending is just meant to repair our existing infrastructure, which is in a fairly abysmal state in the U.S.
The most recent “report card” from the American Society of Civil Engineers gives the U.S.’s infrastructure a “D” overall and estimates that we need to spend $2.2 trillion over the next five years to get it up to snuff.
The article also discusses an interesting approach by Chile to prioritize infrastructure projects based on predicting the highest need. A bulk of the infrastructure needs where in areas like roads, power grid, water, and telecommunication. The US resembles countries like South Africa and China instead of other developed countries like Germany and Japan.
Advanced manufacturing and predictive techniques can help reduce the annual spend from $2.7 Trillion to $1.7 Trillion, but we like the overall theme of the report in that we need to get smarter at tackling these big infrastructure problems. Similar to reactive vs. predictive asset maintenance, our infrastructure improvement plans should be more predictive and reactive.