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Build back wiser: Stanford engineer highlights the need for digitized, versatile, distributed and inclusive infrastructure systems

2018 earthquake damage to the Glenn Highway at Mirror Lake in Alaska.

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilites / Flickr

Congress will soon vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. It will invest 550 billion dollars to repair the transportation, water, and energy systems.  But it represents only a fraction of the $2.5 trillion investment we need, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. In a recent editorial for the journal Science, Meagan Mauter outlines a way to bridge this gap by investing in digitized, versatile, distributed and inclusive infrastructure systems. Below, Mauter explains this approach, and how it can lead to more efficiency, expanded services and lower costs. 

Mauter is an associate professor of civil & environmental engineering at Stanford's School of Engineering and a center fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. She also serves as the research director for the National Alliance for Water Innovation, a $110-million U.S. Department of Energy program that addresses water security issues. 

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