America's transport infrastructure: Life in the slow lane

| The Economist bemoans the sorry state of US infrastructure ... America's transport infrastructure: Life in the slow lane :

"Although America still builds roads with enthusiasm, according to the OECD’s International Transport Forum, it spends considerably less than Europe on maintaining them. In 2006 America spent more than twice as much per person as Britain on new construction; but Britain spent 23% more per person maintaining its roads.


The Congressional Budget Office estimates that America needs to spend $20 billion more a year just to maintain its infrastructure at the present, inadequate, levels. Up to $80 billion a year in additional spending could be spent on projects which would show positive economic returns. Other reports go further. In 2005 Congress established the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission. In 2008 the commission reckoned that America needed at least $255 billion per year in transport spending over the next half-century to keep the system in good repair and make the needed upgrades. Current spending falls 60% short of that amount."

(Via Yglesias.)

Experts of course disagree on what constitutes "need", but the evidence is the system will continue to deteriorate unless funds are upped for preservation and renewal. See our report Fix It First for details on how to do this.

David Levinson

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by David Levinson published on April 28, 2011 5:04 PM.

Zombie Transportation, Irreversibility, Planning Limbo, and Why Projects Never Die was the previous entry in this blog.

A Racetrack Model of the Macro-economy: Or what transportation can teach economists. is the next entry in this blog.

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