Infrastructure Funding Needs More Government Support
Better Roads recently published a few articles regarding the present demands to the US infrastructure. The AGA has long touted the advantages and necessity of funding infrastructure, and these articles show some movement in the area, as well as the fact the majority of Americans agree on the need for long-term funding.
On June 10, President Obama signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) into law, segmenting $12.3 billion in funds to port projects in Jacksonville, FL; Savannah, GA; and Boston, MA. This is the first water bill signed into law in the past 7 years and shows the government is in fact paying attention to the demand for such Acts.
It is projected the Highway Trust Fund may run out of money by the end of August, which will affect transportation infrastructure funding to state and local municipalities. Two examples of what the future could look like without this funding are a bridge closure in Wilmington, DE and the mile-long portion of US 50 closed due to a sinkhole near Annapolis, MD. Both closures disrupt traffic in the areas, causing overcrowding on nearby alternate routes. Without the Highway Trust Fund, various projects may not receive proper repairs and upkeep, further hindering the county’s already lacking transportation infrastructure.
AAA released the results of a survey, which found more than two-thirds of Americans want to see funding increased in our transportation infrastructure. Over half of the respondents said they would prefer to pay for proper transportation infrastructure upkeep by raising taxes, as well as preferring to vote for members of Congress who would support the increased funding. 43% of respondents see the infrastructure as having declined in the past three years. This makes the loss of the Highway Trust Fund even more worrisome.
Hopefully Congress will follow the passing of the Water Act with a long-term infrastructure bill. Similarly, it would be great to see movement on the Keystone pipeline and other gas line infrastructure. As these items start to get funded, it will also be important to ensure they are built to last.