Editorial, Technical Articles, Vol 26,2 Geophysics and NDE in US Transportation Infrastucture


We have a $1 Trillion deal

There could not have been a better timing for publication of FastTIMES’ Vol 26 N 2 Special Issue on “Geophysics and NDE in US Transportation Infrastructure”.  In late 2021, the United States Congress voted in favor of a $1 trillion infrastructure bill intended to rebuild the deteriorating infrastructure of the country and to fund climate resilience projects.  “We have a deal”, president Joe Biden said when announcing bipartisan support to his ambitious plan.  Roads, bridges, airports and other projects will receive over $130 billion in spending among other important initiatives, making this bill the largest injection of federal funds for infrastructure projects in over a decade.  The bipartisan infrastructure deal was signed into law by President Joe Biden on November 15th.  This legislation ensures huge investment funds to improve U.S. physical infrastructure, including repairing roads and bridges, improving ports and airports, replacing lead pipe across the country, modernizing water systems, expanding broadband internet access with emphasis on rural and underserved communities, and much needed environmental resiliency projects to protect vulnerable communities from the impacts of climate change and natural disasters.

This gigantic bill will obviously result in significant opportunities for our body of near-surface geophysicists, many of whom are EEGS members and FastTIMES regular readers.  I am confident that we as a professional community will be up to the challenge, delivering the quality geophysics needed to support this touted US infrastructure Renaissance.  Furthermore, I encourage our colleagues to view this unique opportunity as a catalyst to speed up market entrance of new instruments and technologies that have been in recent development.  I also encourage colleagues to go the extra mile by clearly explaining customers the frequently-overlooked power of modern near surface geophysics.  The more they understand the benefits of geophysics, the more likely they are to become repeat clients.  Let’s turn this opportunity into our own “near-surface geophysical renaissance”.

This Special Issue was mainly possible due to the unselfish leadership of Benjamin Rivers of the FHWA.  Ben’s relentless coordination efforts throughout the entire process made this publication a success.  Special thanks to the US Department of Transportation and the various state DOTs which allowed publication of their work, including California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) (https://dot.ca.gov/); Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) (https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/Pages/index.aspx ); North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) (https://www.ncdot.gov/Pages/default.aspx); Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) (https://www.dot.state.al.us/); Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) (https://www.penndot.gov/pages/default.aspx); Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) (virginiadot.org); Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) (https://www.codot.gov/ ); Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/ ).