"The U.S. is falling dramatically behind much of the world in rebuilding and expanding an overloaded and deteriorating transportation network it needs to remain competitive in the global marketplace, according to a new study by the Urban Land Institute." That is the first paragraph in an article from the Washington Post on Monday that should be required reading for every member of Congress.
The report notes that the U.S. needs to invest $2 trillion to rebuild roads, bridges, water lines, sewage systems and dams that are reaching the end of their planned life cycles. The report says the desire of Congress to curtail spending will push costs onto "budget-busted" state and local governments. It points to highways and water treatment plants, built with federal funds 40 to 50 years ago, that will become financial burdens to local governments as the time comes for replacement.
"Over the next five to 10 years, public concerns will grow over the evident declines in the condition of infrastructure," the report says. "At some attention-getting point after infrastructure limps along, platforms for reinvestment in America could gain significant traction and public support." The article notes that the report is the latest in a series of studies to conclude that the nation will face dire long-term consequences if major investment in transportation revitalization is postponed.
Study: $2 trillion needed for U.S. infrastructure