We All Pay the Costs of Poor Infrastructure
Authored by Majestic Steel
Investment in United States infrastructure has lagged behind other peer countries. For instance, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found U.S. spending on infrastructure as a percentage of GDP to rank 13th out of 15 peer countries.
Because of underinvestment, our country now finds itself in a position where we need to not only play catch-up on overdue repairs, but also prepare for the future.
Majestic Steel USA joins our industry peers and urges federal lawmakers to invest in the renewal and modernization of our infrastructure so we can make progress on safety, reduce delays, and keep building.
Bridges are one of our infrastructure elements that have become unsafe because of their age and maintenance lapses. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) found, “of the 617,000 bridges across the United States, 42% are at least 50 years old, and 46,154 (7.5%) are considered structurally deficient, meaning they are in “poor” condition. 178 million trips are taken across these structurally deficient bridges every day.” They estimate $125 billion is needed for repairs.
The recent collapse of an elevated subway line in Mexico — whose issues were known but never properly addressed, is a reminder of the importance of infrastructure reliability and that we must take care of repairs before tragedy occurs on one of our 46,154 deficient bridges.
In our home state of Ohio, the ASCE gave our transit, levees, and roads all a D grading. That is the organization’s lowest possible score. And unfortunately, poor roads are not only a problem in Ohio. It’s a national issue that results in traffic delays, and these problems ultimately waste money. In 2019, fuel wasted idling in traffic cost the average driver $1,400. Traffic also wastes on average 42 hours of American’s time annually. What could you do instead of spending a work week in traffic every year?
To be prepared for the future, we must build now, repair now, and pass legislation now. In order to keep building, America needs healthy bridges, roads, power grids, water systems, waste treatment, and transit systems that can support growth. We cannot risk inaction. We need to keep building America.