President Trump keeps announcing different Infrastructure Weekinitiatives in order to highlight America’s crumbling infrastructure. However, there is still no clear plan. In May, it was announced that House Democrats and the White House had agreed to a $2 Trillion plan. However, when the President arrived to have that conversation he walked out of the meeting because Speaker Pelosi had told the press corps that he was participating in “a cover-up” just hours before. He came in, told the Democrats to stop these needless investigations and that he wasn’t interested in doing business until they stopped investigating him. It looks like our roads and bridges will just have to hang on until some point in the future when both sides can agree to work together.
To celebrate the many infrastructure weeks, here at Rouges, we’ve decided to have an infrastructure week of our own. Throughout the week we have a series of posts highlighting our crumbling infrastructure and how we might begin to fix it.
America is a Large Country
America has 4,071,000 miles (6,552,000 km) of roads in the United States, 2,678,000 miles(4,310,000 km) paved and 1,394,000 miles(2,243,000 km) unpaved. According to the Infrastructure Report Card: The U.S. has 614,387 bridges, almost four in 10 of which are 50 years or older. 56,007–9.1% — of the nation’s bridges were structurally deficient in 2016, and on average there were 188 million trips across a structurally deficient bridge each day.
That doesn’t even begin the conversation about water pipes, internet, airports, dams, rivers, levees, or railways. All of these hard assets that we use almost every day create the modern country that we are used to living in. In the 1930s-1950s we built masses of things like dams, bridges, and the modern interstate system. However, that build-out is reaching the end of its useful life. It’s time to tear that out and start over.
How Do We Fix the Roads?
The solutions are fairly clear: fix the problems. But the reality is that it will take quite a bit of money from the federal, state, and local governments. All of these institutions are increasingly cash strapped. Why is that? Raising taxes on regular working people is incredibly unpopular. The…