Decaying transportation infrastructure

(Ref. 503)
Problem Components
Policy issue area: Cities/regions
Policy issue: Transportation
Description: Decrepit highways, bridges, railways, dams, ports, reclamation and antipollution systems, and other components of the nation's transportation and regional infrastructure.
Symptoms: Worn-out road surfaces; dangerous or collapsing bridges; dangerous railways; antiquated air traffic control system; and other hazardous and/or uneconomical conditions.
Causes: Underinvestment in new facilities; not allocating sufficient funds for repair and maintenance; not making users pay fully for using facilities (between 1960 and 1990 public investment in the infrastructure dropped from 3.6% of GNP to 2.5%).
Cost of problem: -
Solution Components
Resources: Federal, state and local governments; construction industry; universities and research institutes.
Goal: Provide leadership, financing and programs to rebuild the national transportation infrastructure, to move people, goods and services safely and efficiently.
Program area: Urban development
Program-remedy: 1. Inventory needs for infrastructure rebuilding in every region and at all levels of government
2. Funding to channel resources for rebuilding, according to needs and priorities, shared between Federal, state and local governments, and the private sector
3. A National Investment Program, to channel pension fund assets to projects
4. Improve public transportation, to enhance employment and productivity.
Program-prevent: National economic development strategy to include the need for the supporting transportation infrastructure, to transport workers, raw materials and finished goods.
Cost of program: $500 billion over the next 10 year period.
Beneficiaries: Business; transportation industry; travelers and commuters.

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