Updating our aging national infrastructure holds tremendous economic opportunities for job growth.
Research shows that infrastructure investments create strong middle-class jobs, while funding cuts increase unemployment in the construction sector. For every $1 billion invested in infrastructure, we create between 10,000 and 15,000 jobs. We make improvements to America's roadways through the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).
The HTF is funded through the federal gas tax, which was last increased over 20 years ago. This has led to a steadily increasing gap between funds paid out of the Trust for improvement projects and revenues coming in. Historically, funding gaps have been filled through deposits from the U.S. Treasury’s general revenues. Current funding levels are not enough to keep pace with capital improvement demand and the current debate in Congress is over how much the Trust should be replenished and where the revenues should come from.
This debate is important to all Americans because of the need to repair our nation’s ailing roads, bridges and dams. In their 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave America’s infrastructure an overall grade of D+. Bridges were given a C+ and dams were given a D.
In New York,
2,169 of the 17,420 bridges in New York (12.5%) are considered structurally deficient
4,718 of the 17,420 bridges in New York (27.1%) are considered functionally obsolete
There are 403 high hazard dams.
In New Jersey,
651 of the 6,554 bridges in New Jersey (9.9%) are considered structurally deficient
1,717 of the 6,554 bridges in New Jersey (26.2%) are considered functionally obsolete
There are 217 high hazard dams.
We must continue our investment in the very roads and bridges that are one of America’s great public achievements and a source of our shared prosperity.