At the beginning of January 2015, the Obama administration began drafting plans for a 30-year transportation framework to support the growing population in the U.S., particularly in the south and the west. This ASCE report lays out a comprehensive plan, including U.S. investment costs, for creating new highways, roads, and bridges. Several organizations contributed research and opinions to the plan, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Miller Center at the University of Virginia.
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Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transportation Secretary, gave his views at the annual Transportation Research Board. “Our point is to say that if we don’t address these things, is there a cost? The answer is yes. We keep thinking the transportation system is like a merry-go-round: You put a quarter in it and it goes around again. Well, it’s not.” He emphasized the point that new transportation infrastructure in the U.S. is important, but it is also expensive. However, the investment is critical in supporting the future population.
The transportation plan would involve a $3.6 trillion investment through 2020. That means the U.S. government would have to come up with an additional $1.6 trillion above current transportation spending levels. The current transportation infrastructure requires yearly maintenance of $134 to $194 billion each year. Movement in Washington will have to be made before the transportation plan becomes final.
Without an expansion to the current transportation infrastructure in the U.S., businesses will have a difficult time maintaining logistics timeframes and traffic will become a major issue. Many people in the eastern U.S. travel more than an hour each way to work. That could be the future reality for people living in the south and the west in the coming years if a new transportation infrastructure is not put in place. [/show_to]
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