by Greg Walcher, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow
As Appearing in the Daily Sentinel
CNN reports that “the fabric of America is crumbling,” quoting an American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) report giving a D+ grade to the country’s roads, bridges, airports, schools, and other public works. Melodramatic? The World Economic Forum now ranks the U.S. 13th in the world in maintaining adequate infrastructure, even below the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.
That concern prompted President Trump to prioritize such investments in his inaugural address: “We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation.”
ASCE estimates a $4.6 trillion need for maintenance and improvements over the next decade. Congress and the president agreed to spend almost half that on a new federal plan — in addition to state, local, and private projects. Almost 80 percent of public infrastructure projects are funded by state and local governments, so $2 trillion more federal dollars would have an overwhelming impact.