Failing to invest in rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure is costing our nation more than $100 billion a year, according to a report issued yesterday by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Using complex calculations, ASCE has concluded that infrastructure deficiencies add $97 billion a year to the cost of operating vehicles and result in travel delays that cost an additional $32 billion, bring the total to $129 billion a year caused by our decaying roads, bridges, railroads and transit systems, according to a report in The Washington Post (Decaying infrastructure costs U.S. billions each year, report says).
“If investments in surface transportation infrastructure are not made soon, these costs are expected to grow exponentially,” ASCE said. “Within 10 years, U.S. businesses would pay an added $430 billion in transportation costs, household incomes would fall by more than $7,000 and U.S. exports will fall by $28 billion.” The ASCE report predicts that without infrastructure investment 870,000 jobs would be lost and economic growth would be stifled to the tune of $3.1 trillion by 2020. To avert that the nation would need to invest about $1.7 trillion through the end of the decade. It is estimated that the gap between what is being spent and what needs to be spent is approximately $94 billion a year.