Building America’s Future Educational Fund, a bipartisan and national infrastructure coalition, just released a report that examines the economic challenges posed by the United States’ ailing transportation infrastructure. The report, “Falling Apart and Falling Behind,” reviews investments being made by international competitors and recommends new transportation policies to spur U.S. economic growth.
Among the report observations :
- There are more than 15,000 miles of high-speed rail in operation around the world, but none located in the United States
- China has six of the world’s top 10 ports and none of the top 10 are in the United States
- The United States lacks a national plan for public-private partnerships for infrastructure projects, or a national infrastructure bank to finance large-scale projects and leverage private capital.
The report recommends:
- Development of a long-term national infrastructure strategy that makes choices based on economics, not politics
- The passage of a transportation bill to increase economic return and mobility while reducing congestion and pollution
- The establishment of a national infrastructure bank and analysis of other long-term revenue generating options, including congestion pricing, carbon auctions, fees based on miles traveled and an updated gas tax
While it may be hard to think about further investments now, in the face of deep government cuts and a focus on deficits, these investments are necessary to ensure continued growth and economic prosperity. New tools, and transparency help ensure efficient construction while creating jobs and improving the quality of life.