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September 17, 2014
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editorial

Time to fix our roads and highways


What our political leaders must appreciate is that our crumbling highway infrastructure costs the economy. “By 2020, America’s projected surface transportation infrastructure deficiencies are expected to cost the national economy cumulatively around $900 billion in GDP,” with the cost to businesses estimated at $430 billion (cumulative to 2020) and $481 billion to American households. (You can find more of these statistics in the ASCE’s “Failure to Act: The Impact of Current Infrastructure Investment on America’s Economic Future” released in 2013 (www.asce.org/uploadedfiles/Infrastructure/failure_to_act/failure_to_act_...).

History shows that investment in infrastructure creates jobs. FDR’s New Deal programs—The Rural Electrification Act of 1935, the Tennessee Valley Authority Act of 1933, the Works Progress Administration and the like—not only put Americans to work in the Great Depression, but simultaneously helped build the America we have today.

Isn’t this kind of investment simply the right thing to do? We believe that those in Congress who throw roadblocks in front of urgently needed highway and infrastructure funding should be held accountable when the opt for inaction.