It is no secret the United States of America is in desperate need for an infrastructure overhaul. The prospect sounds exciting but has proven to be a logistical nightmare. The National Highway System consists of over 164,000 miles of road and that’s only one small aspect when it comes to a massive infrastructure program. Now, state policymakers are responding to the Trump administration’s call to submit high-priority infrastructure projects to the White House.
Federal infrastructure programs have been largely unsuccessful in recent history. Primarily reactive, it is critical the USA get’s a proactive infrastructure program to prepare our nation’s businesses for the future. Especially now as more manufacturers are encouraged to return to the USA, businesses must not be slowed down by road and bridge closings, port congestion and the slew of other supply chain issues associated with dilapidated infrastructure.
Bloomberg reported that even though the states are struggling with their infrastructure issues, they don’t want major legislation changes that upend the federal government’s traditional role in their projects.
“I don’t see any way that, federally, they can define projects for a state,” Tennessee’s transportation commissioner told Bloomberg. He continues, “The federal government can’t figure out what a state needs.” (http://bit.ly/2k6joNr)
Tennessee sent over their “shovel ready” but unfunded projects to the National Governors Association. The list is a $1.1 billion, seven-road wish list and this would only be the beginning. It is already dealing with a $6 billion backlog of approved projects with another $4.5 billion worth of projects with no funding expected for at least a few years. This is just one example of the complexity that a nation wide infrastructure project poses.
About 40 states have participated so far which all sent in “shovel ready” infrastructure plans. The director of the National Governors Association, Scott Pattison explained that this list was to get a rough idea of how many “shovel ready” projects are out there right now as the president constructs his infrastructure initiative.
“The feeling was if we wanted to try to move quickly, what are some of the things we could do and what’s out there,” Pattison said.
It is expected for all 50 states will participate in the call to action. As the information comes in, it will be exciting to see what will be done by the new administration to address these issues. In particular, the current federal funding to state infrastructure projects will be important to keep an eye on.
There’s no telling what the future will hold but it will be important to watch these developments closely as they unfold. Check back at MfgTalkRadio.com soon for the latest updates and developments surrounding the nations infrastructure and manufacturing industry.