Study: $2 trillion needed for U.S. infrastructure

Tina Grady Barbaccia

June 15, 2011

The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) reports that a new study by the Urban Land Institute says that the United States is falling dramatically behind much of the world in rebuilding and expanding an overloaded and deteriorating transportation network.

A sound infrastructure, according to the report, is needed for the country to remain competitive in the global marketplace. Burdened with soaring deficits and with long-term transportation plans stalled in Congress, the United States has fallen behind three emerging economic competitors — Brazil, China, and India, the institute said.

The report envisions a time when U.S. cities may opt to abandon services in some districts and when lightly used blacktopped rural roads would be allowed to return to nature. Eventually, the report says, the federal gas tax will be increased; local governments will be allowed to toll interstate highways; water bills will rise to pay for pipe and sewer replacement; property and sales taxes will increase; and private, profit-seeking companies will play a much larger role in funding and maintaining public projects.

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