Cindy Ponder-Budd

The Council on Foreign Relations has compiled an interesting piece on the state of US infrastructure. With budget and tax reform taking longer-than expected, infrastructure will most likely not be addressed until next year, but the need it critical. It is estimated that traffic congestion costs the US economy $120bn per year and the nation's airports subtract $35bn.

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Cindy Ponder-Budd
Cindy Ponder-Budd


The Council on Foreign Relations additionally examined the state of U.S. water infrastructure. Their assessment is as dire as their opinion on transportation water structure. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the country will need to spend $632 billion over the next decade on infrastructure including pipes, treatment plants, and wastewater management facilities. However, federal spending as dried up with its contribution to water infrastructure spending falling from 63% of the total in the 1970s to just 9% in 2014.

Paul Krake
Paul Krake


The state of US infrastructure. Some scary numbers.

• Traffic congestion cost to the US economy is $120 billion per year.
• $35 billion due to bad airports.
• 11% of workers are employed in infrastructure related sectors.
• Infrastructure spending provides three dollars of GDP for every one dollar spent - University
of Maryland.
• There's a $1.5 trillion infrastructure gap according to the American Society of civil
• $800 billion is required to upgrade roads and bridges - Department of transport.
• $150 billion per year to keep abreast of infrastructure spending up to date - McKinsey.
• One in for bridges are deficient.
• 20% of flights are delayed.
• One in five passenger railways are in poor condition- Department of Transport.
• The EPA believes that $632 billion of investment is required in water wastewater and
irrigation systems over the course of the next decade.
• The broadband gap hurts low income Americans.
• Internationally, US ranked 16th for quality of infrastructure down from fifth in 2002. Ranks 19th
in broadband
• The average commuting time in US is well above global peers.
• The average train speed is half of that of Europe.
• European countries spend on average 5% of GDP on April structure where the US spends
• 25% of US public infrastructure funding comes from the federal government 38% in 1977.
• The highway trust fund HTF faces insolvency because gas taxes are too low.

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