The White House released a new report from the Council of Economic Advisers and National Economic Council on the long-term economic benefits of transportation investment and why conditions in the infrastructure sector are ripe for innovation, with new technologies and approaches promising significant gains in productivity, efficiency, and resilience.
President Obama has been clear that there is a need to improve U.S. infrastructure and rebuild roads and bridges in a smarter, more responsible way, while supporting millions of jobs.
"The economic benefits of smart infrastructure investment are long-term competitiveness, productivity, innovation, lower prices, and higher incomes, while infrastructure investment also creates many thousands of American jobs in the near-term," says the report. "The costs of inadequate infrastructure investment are exhibited all around us. Americans spend 5.5 billion hours in traffic each year, costing families more than $120 billion in extra fuel and lost time. American businesses pay $27 billion a year in extra freight transportation costs, increasing shipping delays and raising prices on everyday products. Underinvestment impacts safety too. There were more than 33,000 traffic fatalities last year alone and roadway conditions are a significant factor in approximately one-third of traffic fatalities."
President Obama continues to urge Congress to act to avoid a lapse in funding of the Highway Trust Fund, which will go insolvent as early as August – putting numerous active projects at risk. This week Congress will consider a solution to avoid that scenario.
In addition to the report, the White House released an interactive transportation map detailing the condition of and consequences for each state’s roads and bridges as well as the jobs that would be put at risk, if Congress fails to act.