3 Ways Civil Engineers Can Have a Major Impact on Philadelphia’s Infrastructure


In a 2018 article published on the

In a 2018 article published on the bizjournals website, President Trump’s plan to improve America’s infrastructure was mentioned in light of much-needed improvements in Philadelphia as well as the entire Northeast Corridor, NEC.

It was mentioned that more than 820,000 workers relied on those roads to get to and from work in the Philadelphia area alone and that improvements are long overdue. The article goes on to say exactly what is needed and how not only roads but railways and public transportation systems are all in some degree of decline. 

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If you are a civil engineer looking for an advanced degree in the Philadelphia area, have you considered taking the time to achieve an online engineering management degree? Top universities like Kettering University offer classes 100% online in which you can get the management degree in engineering you will need to be a vital part of the solution.

It isn’t yet clear whether the federal funding will be allocated for Philadelphia, or indeed the NEC, but it is clear that the region’s infrastructure is failing. If you are looking to take your career in civil engineering to the next level and be a part of the solution, here are three ways that degree can have a major impact on Philadelphia’s infrastructure.

1. Maintain Existing Roads and Rails

While any civil engineer can help to analyze current issues creating problems with travel in the Philly area, it will take an advanced degree to design ‘fixes’ for existing roads and rails. A civil engineer will help to diagnose exactly what roads are failing and then design improvements that will help keep traffic moving so that those workers mentioned above can get to work safely, and on time! Current road and public transportation issues are having a huge impact on travel within the region but with some amount of maintenance, current infrastructure can help to keep things flowing a bit smoother until major new routes can be designed and built.

2. Design and Route New Roads Where Needed

Here is the biggest issue Philly may face. As one of the oldest cities in the United States, being ‘born’ a city way back in 1682, much of the city is congested and the roads are archaic, to say the least. Remember, as far as the inner city goes, that was designed and built up more than 300 years ago and there was a LOT less traffic to deal with. Cars were still more than two centuries away and the entire population was nowhere near the almost 1.6 million residents it holds today. 

In fact, in 1862, two hundred years after being named a city, Philly only had roughly half a million people. The size continues to double exponentially and so new roads and transportation systems are going to be in greater demand than ever. While civil engineers with a BS degree can work on a team, wouldn’t it be amazing to hold that master’s in management and actually lead a design team that finally added to an infrastructure that isn’t able to meet current demands?

3. Improved Quality Control

What today’s engineers are seeing isn’t necessarily a lack within engineering in the past, but the quality of materials available to them at that time. You have heard it said ad nauseum that ‘space age’ materials can last an infinite amount of time, but the reality is, they can!

However, it is also vital for engineers to consider the impact on the environment when using other than natural resources. There is always going to be that tension between longevity and environmentally safe materials. It is part of the scope of what a chief engineer would consider when designing improved roads and rails. They must keep everything in mind and that is no easy feat. 

Other Benefits Offered When Improving Philadelphia’s Infrastructure

Above we touched on how civil engineers can have a major impact on Philadelphia’s infrastructure, but now it’s time to look at how an improved infrastructure can have a major impact on the city, itself. Other benefits which a civil engineer will have an impact on would include the economy in more ways that you can count.

Not only will an improved infrastructure get people going where they are going quicker and safer but more people will be able to travel as well. Growing the city’s roads and modes of travel can also attract a greater number of visitors to the City of Brotherly Love as well. Consider for just a moment that in 2017, Philadelphia hosted more than 43 million visitors in that year alone! Can you imagine how growing that number could be a real boon to the local economy? Hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, museums, and other attractions would see far greater revenues than at any time in the past.

It’s All About Growing the City

In the end, improved infrastructure is all about benefiting and growing the city. Yes, it will make it easier for people to get around and workers are likely to be the first to welcome an improved mode of transportation, however, visitors will enjoy improved roads and easier travel as well. As President Trump has noted on many occasions, going beyond maintaining the country’s infrastructure is key to our growth as a nation. This is something which has been neglected for far too long and never was it more obvious than in cities like Philadelphia, the 12th oldest in the United States of America.

It’s really all about growing the city and that’s the major impact a civil engineer can have when helping to maintain and rebuild the city’s infrastructure. It’s about growing the economy and it’s about helping move people in the most efficient manner possible. It’s all about stepping into the future by maintaining the historic roads people visit while providing updated ways to get there. This is Philly. This is the City of Brotherly Love and in love for the city, let’s be a part of the solution. That’s what today’s civil engineers can be.

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Photo: theconstructor.org

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