The Love Affair Continues: American Infrastructure in addition to Where We’ll Go Next
How bad are the highways, bridges, in addition to roads which crisscross This kind of great nation of America? They are in such need of attention which, during the long national nightmare which was our recent election (the most seemingly divided This kind of country has been since Reconstruction), out of all the things which our two presidential candidates butted heads over—Russian operatives in addition to tax returns, accusations of terrible misdeeds, in addition to everything else—just about the only thing which they agreed on was the state of our nation’s infrastructure.
“We are going to rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals,” said Trump during his victory speech. “We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none.”
During the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton pledged $275 billion to resurrecting our nation’s roadway infrastructure. Not to be outdone, currently-President Trump pledged a full $1 trillion. He won the election. currently, where is usually which money going to go? the item’ll go to our overall infrastructure, our freeways, our aging bridges, in addition to even our railways in addition to water pipelines, a spending expenditure which both Republicans in addition to Democrats can agree on.
Here’s why: Americans are driving more than ever. Buoyed by cheap gasoline in addition to a resurgent economy, we shouldn’t be surprised which we’ve collectively driven 3.17 trillion miles in 2016—up via 2015’s total of 3.06 trillion miles. In fact, Americans have been driving more each year since 2012. via 1971 to the Great Recession of 2008, our overall mileage as a nation has grown in addition to grown in addition to grown. There’s little to indicate which there will be a dip.
As a result, our roads have undeniably taken a beating. The American Society of Civil Engineers rates our current state of roadway infrastructure a D, for poor. “Currently, 32 percent of America’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition,” the group said in its 2013 report card. The group also determined which “the average age of the nation’s 607,380 bridges is usually currently 42 years.” Nearly half of our roads face severe congestion. Poor pavement costs motorists $324 a year, on average, in repairs in addition to operating costs, totaling $67 billion per year. Similarly, nearly half of the miles traveled on urban roads, or 47 percent, are over terrible pavement.
According to the same report card, $3.6 trillion would certainly need to be invested into U.S. infrastructure—public transit, roads, repaving, brand-new bridges, in addition to traffic improvements—by 2020 to help millions of Americans get to work in addition to back.
At a local level, voters in Los Angeles, Seattle, in addition to Atlanta all helped pass measures on public transit in addition to light rail—in Los Angeles, for example, “voters approved a half-cent increase inside the sales tax to raise nearly $0 billion for the transportation system,” reported the brand-new York Times. Seattle approved 62 brand-new miles of light rail. Atlanta approved a light-rail project alongside bicycle in addition to pedestrian paths. 2016 held the most ballot measures related to transportation ever, according to the Center for Transportation Excellence: 78 measures to be considered, across 26 states, with over $0 billion in funding at stake.
More public transportation will inevitably take the strain away via our overburdened roadways. in addition to for the millions of Americans who do not consider public transportation a viable option, roads will still be the ticket, the way forward. There’s nothing preventing roads via coexisting with walkable cities, environmental friendliness, in addition to our eventual adoption of electric or autonomous cars. The way forward is usually smarter roads in addition to highways which still allow cities in addition to their pedestrians to breathe, projects which simultaneously preserve the necessary pathways for cars, trucks, in addition to commerce.
which seems to be the pattern moving forward. Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct tunnel moves a prominent state highway underground, along the coast, eliminating an overpass similar to San Francisco’s Embarcadero project in 1991. Massachusetts recently tore down the toll lanes on its famed Mass Pike, switching entirely over to electronic tolling in addition to eliminating the slowed-down bottlenecks via Boston to Springfield. in addition to in brand-new York City, the brand-new Tappan Zee bridge is usually slated to open in 2018, replacing a crumbling, rickety bridge built more than 60 years ago in addition to designed to last only 50.
These are all projects designed to streamline our roads, yes, however they’re also a reflection of our love of the automobile. Americans in addition to their roads are forever linked, forever in love with each various other. in addition to if we’re going to continue our affair with the open road, we’ll need to take care of them. Because with our 21st-century roads come rising standards for our cars.
Since 1971, Americans have been hitting the road more in addition to more, minus a dip during the Great Recession. in addition to yet the average fuel economy of our cars has increased alongside our miles: in 2015, we saw an average of 25.5 miles per gallon. Thanks to CAFE standards, designed to improve our fuel economy every year, our carmakers are churning out more fuel-efficient cars. the item’s no surprise which the Toyota Prius became a mainstream hit. in addition to anything which can improve our fuel economy to an EPA-estimated 133 MPGe, as inside the all-brand-new Prius Prime, will reinforce our love affair with the road.
brand-new roads, brand-new cars, brand-new tires, in addition to less gas. which seems like the future of our own private love affair with the open road which’s somewhere out there, beckoning to us, taking us to cities worth visiting in addition to bridges in addition to toll roads worth crossing. No matter which candidate you voted for, you can take solace inside the idea which our love affair with the road still has great merit.