Thoughts from Dale Steenbergen –
Several months ago, your Chamber of Commerce joined Chambers from all over this nation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the “Build By the 4th” campaign. The campaign is designed to push forward infrastructure repair across the U.S.
There are more than 617,000 bridges in this country; of that number, more than 220,000 need repair, and more than 42,000 are structurally deficient.
America was made great because of our need to move. We spread out from ocean to ocean and from the northern forests to the southern deserts.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Republican, mind you, signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, and our interstate system was born. It is considered the greatest work project of all time, and being from Cheyenne, we understand the importance of interstate highways. It was good work, and as Americans, we should be proud of our past as it has literally and figuratively paved the way to our future.
If you listen in the halls of Congress today, you will quickly learn that our government’s care for this great legacy of transportation is more of a political chip than it is an ongoing concern. Every member of the U.S. House and Senate (there might be one out there that has finally fallen off the turnip truck) all admit that we need to focus on infrastructure. Still, somehow it becomes a political football punted more than a Nebraska ball in a Huskers game (yes, this is a poke at the Huskers ahead of football season – Boomer Sooner!)
When the initiative started, we wanted a resolution on this issue by July 4th (thus build by the 4th), and yes, we hoped it would have been July 4th of 2021. We are not quite there, but it does seem we have been building bipartisan support for a solution. Let’s keep working, folks! Our children and grandchildren should have the same opportunity that we all had, but this dream will not come to fruition without infrastructure work. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work on something that works and is within our budget. What say you?
The Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1907 and is more than 1,000 members strong. Using guiding core competencies, the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce demonstrates leadership by advocating for business at all levels of government and promoting our community to make the region a better place to live, work, and do business. The Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce is also active in the Wyoming Business & Industry Federation, Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Visit cheyennechamber.org for more information.