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A NATIONAL HEALTHCARE PLAN FOR ROADS, BRIDGES, AND TUNNELS... 'CRADLE TO GRAVE' PREVENTIVE CARE ADVOCATED FOR NATION'S INFRASTRUCTURE

 SEATTLE, Nov. 18 ~PRNewswire~ -- Rebuilding or replacing the nation's infrastructure is increasingly seen as a national priority. But in the mind of Seattle construction executive Richard Eberharter it's just as important that there be a plan of ongoing preventive care that measurably adds to the functionality and longevity of our roads, bridges, tunnels and other public structures.
 Eberharter, who founded Eberharter Construction in his native Seattle some 33 years ago, is a builder with a penchant for the sort of prevention-first philosophy that he says is essential "... if we are to keep the nation's infrastructure, old and new, from emulating the proverbial crumbling cookie."
 Eberharter advocates that every public construction project include a predetermined, set-aside amount intended to cover ongoing maintenance and preservation. These set-aside dollars would be escrowed, invested to earn additional income, and monitored by independent auditors to ensure that the funds are used solely for the designated purpose rather than being siphoned off for political expediencies or other uses.
 "Budgeting preventatively, even before a project gets underway, equates to a healthcare policy which guarantees that funds will be available for maintenance when and as required," Eberharter emphasizes. "It also avoids the necessity of going back to the public wallet time and time again. Too often that wallet is nearer to empty than full, resulting in even the most critical maintenance tasks being allowed to go unattended."
 Under Eberharter's plan, as maintenance came to be required the public agency responsible for the project would solicit competitive bidding from private firms. In many instances, he notes, these would be firms specializing in varying aspects of maintenance and preservation; thus further enhancing both care and cost-effectiveness.
 And because his plan would virtually guarantee cradle-to-grave upkeep, Eberharter says that the functional lifetime of roads, bridges, tunnels, or whatever can be greatly extended. "By funding prenatally, so to speak, we can provide the ongoing quality of care that keeps the infrastructure away from the grave and gives the public a far better return on its tax dollars."
 Additionally, he points out that advanced planning for long-range protection and preservation of the infrastructure will help provide a needed element of stabilization in the otherwise cyclical and seasonal construction industry.
 To the extent that such preventive maintenance planning will represent a major reorientation for both public agencies and the construction industry, Eberharter is exploring the potential for an Infrastructure Protection & Preservation Council (IPPC). "Its role would be to inform and motivate government officials, private industry, educators, taxpayers, bondholders, et al as to rewards of preventive maintenance."
 -0- 11~18~92
 ~CONTACT: Richard Eberharter, president of Eberharter Construction, Inc., 206-784-8844; or Lory Roston, president of Lory Roston Associates, 212-877-8590, for Eberharter Construction~


CO: Eberharter Construction, Inc. ST: Washington IN: CST SU:

GK-TS -- NY057 -- 2400 11~18~92 13:31 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 18, 1992
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