U.S. infrastructure is degrading rapidly with little done to improve the nation’s roads, bridges and other critical systems. The U.S. Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx announced that a new report, “2015 Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges and Transit: Conditions and Performance” proves there is much work to be done. Not only does the nation need to increase investment to maintain the nation’s highway and transit systems, but the United States. needs to overcome a nearly trillion-dollar investment backlog. Their findings show that the United States needs to invest $926 billion in infrastructure maintenance and upgrades to prepare for the future.
Nearly every business in the United States relies on critical infrastructure. Road closings, inadequate transportation systems and even drinking water can all add up, having a severe impact on our economy. Road closings and outdated transportation systems are leading to a sluggish supply chain. Tainted drinking water may even lead to a mass migration out of a particular area which could have a profound impact on a company’s ability to keep their doors open. This is a problem that cannot be ignored any longer and it has become abundantly clear that something must be done, and soon.
“We have an infrastructure system that is fundamental to the nation’s economic health, and it needs greater attention and resources,” Secretary Foxx explained. He goes on to say “Improving our nation’s roads, bridges and transit helps create jobs, connects communities and ensures that our nation is equipped for the future.” http://bit.ly/2jnSMFm
Secretary Foxx is not exaggerating the seriousness of the report. When looking at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Infrastructure Report Card from 2013, America scored a D+ and estimated that $3.6 trillion will need to be invested by 2020 to rectify the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Every four years a new Infrastructure report card is released and in March of this year a new assessment will be available. The report covers energy, transit, roads, rail, ports, bridges, aviation, wastewater, drinking water and more. All of these are absolutely critical in ensuring the United States is ready for the future.
The “2015 Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges and Transit: Conditions and Performance” report identifies an $826 billion backlog of capital investment. This figure is about 3.4% higher than the previous report estimated. The nation is not moving in the right direction when it comes to our infrastructure. Even after addressing the backlog of investment, the U.S. must still maintain current infrastructure systems which will require $142.5 billion in combined spending from state, federal and local governments.
“The case for more investment in our nation’s transportation system is clear,” Gregory Nadeau, Federal Highway Administrator stated. He explains, “A strong transportation system will make businesses more productive and freight shippers safer and more efficient while improving America’s quality of life.” http://bit.ly/2jKNt2x
Investing in the nation’s infrastructure has other benefits as well. A project on this scale will call for a massive employment boom. Addressing the plethora of issues will require an immense workforce while at the same time creating a better environment for American businesses.
Check back soon for the latest Infrastructure Report Card from the ASCE for another perspective on the current status of our nation’s Infrastructure.