Obama infrastructure plan


From today's radio address: President-elect Barack Obama lays out key parts of Economic Recovery Plan

" ... Second, we will create millions of jobs by making the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s. We’ll invest your precious tax dollars in new and smarter ways, and we’ll set a simple rule – use it or lose it. If a state doesn’t act quickly to invest in roads and bridges in their communities, they’ll lose the money."

Oddly this comes after making federal buildings energy efficient, I would think this is a bigger deal, but still it should be a large inflow for maintenance and rehabilitation projects, and hopefully won't be wasted.


So in this situation, the s-curve that you estimated for the US highways is not going to fit, right?

: The S-Curve will fit if the money all goes to repaving, rehabilitating, and repairing roads and bridges, as opposed to building new links. -- dml

I'm guessing neither Obama nor his advisors have ever seen the logistic growth curve for highways, much less any other mode of transportation.

They might spend as much as the original Interstate system cost (~$130 billion), but we will see nowhere near the level of benefit the original system provided.

Does anyone else find it strange that a 'use it or lose it' provision is supposed to represent a 'new and smarter way' to spend infrastructure funds? Unspent funds are certainly not the problem with current investment practices.

Unfortunately, the incoming administration has two conflicting priorities--quickly delivering an economic stimulus and changing America's inefficient development practices. In most states, "ready-to-go tomorrow" projects have worked their way through local queues and been vetted by state DoTs; it's unlikely that they represent innovative multi-modal approaches and almost impossible that would have been formulated in response to the past year's oil shock. And yet it's the new projects, put forward by jurisdictions who until this summer didn't see the need to change their infrastructure policies, that could catalyze needed change. With the TEA reauthorization process already upon us, jurisdictions are scrambling to get in line for funding, instead of taking the time to revise projects and plans. It's a missed opportunity to bring along those parts of the country where "TOD" isn't spoken yet.

I think obama is the right guy to bring the U.S. back to a financial strong hold. It will take at least 3 years to get the transportation strong again

David Levinson

Network Reliability in Practice

Evolving Transportation Networks

Place and Plexus

The Transportation Experience

Access to Destinations

Assessing the Benefits and Costs of Intelligent Transportation Systems

Financing Transportation Networks

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This page contains a single entry by David Levinson published on December 6, 2008 8:10 AM.

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