The Federal Highway Administration estimates a $170 billion in
capital investment is needed annually to improve road conditions.
Targeted efforts to improve conditions and significant reductions
in highway fatalities resulted in a slight improvement in the roads
grade to a D this year. However, forty-two percent of America’s
major urban highways remain congested, costing the economy an
estimated $101 billion in wasted time and fuel annually. While the
conditions have improved in the near term, and federal, state, and
local capital investments increased to $91 billion annually, that
level of investment is insufficient and still projected to result in a
decline in conditions and performance in the long term. Currently,
the Federal Highway Administration estimates that $170 billion
in capital investment would be needed on an annual basis to
significantly improve conditions and performance.
The grade for transit remained at a D as transit agencies struggled
to balance increasing ridership with declining funding. America’s
public transit infrastructure plays a vital role in our economy,
connecting millions of people with jobs, medical facilities,
schools, shopping and recreation, and it is critical to the one-third of Americans who do not drive cars. Unlike many U.S.
infrastructure systems, the transit system is not comprehensive,
as 45% of American households lack any access to transit, and
millions more have inadequate service levels. Americans who do
have access have increased their ridership 9.1% in the past decade,
and that trend is expected to continue. Although investment
in transit has also increased, deficient and deteriorating transit
systems cost the U.S. economy $90 billion in 2010, as many transit
agencies are struggling to maintain aging and obsolete fleets and
facilities amid an economic downturn that has reduced their
funding, forcing service cuts and fare increases.
Schools D Almost half of America’s public school buildings were built to educate the baby boomers – a generation that is now retiring from the workforce. Public school enrollment is projected to gradually increase through 2019, yet state and local school construction funding continues to decline. National spending on school construction has diminished to approximately $10 billion in 2012, about half the level spent prior to the recession, while the condition of school facilities continues to be a significant concern
for communities. Experts now estimate the investment needed to
modernize and maintain our nation’s school facilities is at least
$270 billion or more. However, due to the absence of national data
on school facilities for more than a decade, a complete picture of
the condition of our nation’s schools remains mostly unknown.
Schools received a D again this year.
and Recreation C-
We know that investing in infrastructure is essential to support
healthy, vibrant communities. Infrastructure is also critical for
long-term economic growth, increasing GDP, employment,
household income, and exports. The reverse is also true –
without prioritizing America’s infrastructure needs, deteriorating
conditions can become a drag on the economy.
We need a first class infrastructure system – transport systems
that move people and goods efficiently and at a reasonable cost
by land, water and air. We need transmission systems that deliver
reliable, low-cost power from a wide range of energy sources. And
we need water systems that drive industrial processes as well as
the daily functions in our homes.
We must commit today to make our vision of the future a reality-an American infrastructure system that is the source of our