There are 210 million drivers in the US that rely on baby-boom-generation roadways for commerce. A third of our nation’s major roads need significant repair or replacement and nearly half of urban roads suffer from congestion, costing over $100 billion in wasted time and fuel each year.
The American Society of Civil Engineers says federal, state and local governments need to spend $79 billion more each year on roads; $250 more for every American.
In addition to the cost of traffic delay, the average driver pays $578 a year for wear and tear caused by rough roads.
Traffic congestion is costing the freight transportation network nearly $8 billion per year, which ultimately gets passed along to consumers in the form of higher costs.
Vehicle travel jumped by 39 percent from 1990 to 2008 and is forecast to increase another 35 percent by 2030. The explosion of freight traffic is punishing aging highways.
“When talking about the cost of infrastructure, we never compute the cost of inaction,” said infrastructure advocate and former Governor of Pennsylvania, Edward Rendell. “The best example? The Army Corps of Engineers had a request in to rebuild the levees in New Orleans before Katrina. It would have been a little under a billion dollars. They said there was no money. After Katrina the federal government spent $17 billion on repair.”
“That’s what the public’s got to start understanding. The cost of inaction is greater than the cost of doing nothing.”
The above is a summary of an article published in the Washington Post on March 30, 2013 titled Beneath the Surface, the Beltway Crumbles. Here is a link to the article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/beneath-the-surface-the-beltway-crumbles/2013/03/30/8963232a-8b51-11e2-9f54-f3fdd70acad2_story_1.html
Here is a link to Rendell’s testimony to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee: http://transportation.house.gov/sites/republicans.transportation.house.gov/files/documents/2013-02-13-Rendell.pdf