Labor Day Travel a Reminder Why We Need Infrastructure Investment
More Americans are expected to celebrate Labor Day this weekend by getting out of town. The auto club AAA predicts 34.7 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home — an 1.3 percent increase from last year.
About 86 percent of vacationers are planning to travel by car, and they can expect to find roads and bridges in desperate need of repair during their journeys.
As any regular reader of the ManufactureThis blog knows, America’s infrastructure is in terrible shape. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives a D+ grade to our infrastructure system, and with good reason. More than 70,000 bridges are considered structurally deficit, for example. Our railroads and ports and inland waterways and airports all need major repairs, too.
Unfortunately, Congress opted to kick the can when it comes to transportation infrastructure, passing a short-term patch to highway funding instead of a long-term, sustainable solution. Meanwhile, countries like China are strengthening their infrastructure — making them more appealing to manufacturers and building capacity in areas where the United States hasn’t even gotten started.
Some in Washington are calling for long-term infrastructure spending. Sen. Tom Carper (D) led a mini-tour of Delaware’s bridges on Thursday to push Congress to take up a highway measure before the end of the Congressional session, for example. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and 11 of his predecessors also have sounded the alarm about infrastructure over the past few weeks.
But not everyone is listening — and that’s where you can help.
And repairing our infrastructure will also make travels a little easier for future holiday revealers, too.
Photo credit: Peter Thoeny via Flickr.
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