May 26, 2016
By Neal Tepel
Washington, DC – While its essential to continue to maintain and modernize our infrastructure, the gridlock in Congress continues to prevent the rebuilding and investing in roads, bridges, water systems, oil and natural gas pipelines. With no clear plan to maintain and expand the infrastructure, economic growth for future generations will be affected.
Infrastructure Investment has fallen by 40 percent in the last 20 years in this great nation with 25 percent of America's bridges deficient or obsolete. The poor maintenance of our roads contributes to 33 percent of all traffic fatalities in the United States. Truck delays add $7.6 billion a year to the cost of American-made products. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the United States currently needs about $384 billion in capital improvements for drinking water systems. Given that many cities rely on pipes that are nearly a century old, this estimate could be considered very conservative.
The construction and maintenance of our roads and bridges is a core function and responsibility of our federal government.
However, Congress has failed to act responsibly and fund our nation’s infrastructure. While Republicans and Democrats debate infrastructure cost, rapid deterioration is affecting our quality of life and job growth. Every $1 billion in highway spending supports 27,800 jobs. Every $1 spent on transportation infrastructure adds up to $2 to our overall American GDP.
Americans must demand that Congress take responsibility now for the maintenance and upgrading of this nations infrastructure.
We must invest in our roads and bridges, water systems, as well as the strengthening our power grid. This will not only create jobs in the short term, but provide a strong foundation for sustained economic growth for future generations.