INSUFFICIENT INFRASTRUCTURE: Years of inaction have allowed American infrastructure to degrade into a state of disrepair.
- Infrastructure in the United States struggles to meet the needs of the American public.
- The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave American infrastructure a grade of D+ in their 2017 Infrastructure Report Card.
- ASCE gave American roads a grade of D, transit a D-, aviation a D, drinking water a D, and inland waterways a D.
- American infrastructure has been graded near-failing since at least the 1990s.
- One out of every five mile miles of highway pavement in the United States is in poor condition.
- Over two trillion gallons of drinking water is projected to be wasted each year due, in part, to an estimated 240,000 water main breaks.
- More than 50,000 American bridges are rated as “structurally deficient.”
- These deficient bridges are driven across around 175 million times each day.
- Most of the locks and dams in our inland waterways system are nearing or have exceeded their 50-year design life.
- Nearly half of the vessels that use our inland waterways system experience delays.
- Few U.S. ports currently have the deeper navigation channels that are required as ships continue to grow in size.
- Nearly 40 percent of Americans living in rural areas lack sufficient broadband access.
WASTED TIME AND MONEY: Americans continue to lose time and money as a result of our failing infrastructure.
- Average commute times continue to rise, with the average one-way commute clocking in at 26.6 minutes in 2016.
- Commute times have increased every year since 2009.
- More than 40 percent of urban interstate miles are congested.
- The cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic delays added up to $160 billion in 2014.
- 3.1 billion gallons of fuel were wasted due to traffic congestion in 2014.
- Americans spent 6.9 billion hours in traffic in 2014.
- The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that failing to meet our infrastructure needs will result in almost $4 trillion in losses to GDP, $7 trillion in lost business sales, and 2.5 million lost jobs by 2025.
IMPEDIMENTS TO IMPROVEMENT: Infrastructure projects currently face a daunting number of barriers that are slowing improvements to our infrastructure.
- A maze of red tape and oversight continues to hold back infrastructure projects, despite the fact that most infrastructure spending is not Federal.
- Nearly all major infrastructure projects are subject to complex, Federal regulations.
- The Federal government regulations and processes can play a large role in driving up costs and delaying the development of infrastructure projects.
- Lengthy reviews hold up infrastructure projects for years.
- The median time to complete an environmental review process of complex highway projects is more than 7 years, according to a 2014 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
- Federal departments and agencies are also subject to a range of restrictions that hinder the acquisition and improvement of Federal infrastructure assets.
- The Department of the Interior is not able to use revenues generated from mineral and energy development on public lands for the maintenance of public infrastructure.
- Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs has the authority to sell its properties but is prohibited from retaining the proceeds to reinvest in its medical facility infrastructure.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI): “The president is right to make improving America’s infrastructure a national priority, and last week’s budget agreement included a $20 billion down payment on this goal. Today’s proposal recognizes the urgency of tackling the bureaucratic hurdles that needlessly delay infrastructure projects. Real action to streamline the permitting process will help jumpstart projects that are vital to our communities and our economy. Already in this Congress, the House has passed dozens of infrastructure reforms, and we look forward to working with the administration on this critical issue.”
Hail, Big Government!