National Infrastructure Renewal

Policy Issues

It is possible, and necessary, to clear away bureaucratic, regulatory and political obstacles to the renewal of America’s public infrastructure.

While the costs of repairing, modernizing and expanding U.S. transportation and water infrastructure components are large and will demand significant annual outlays, public and private, indefinitely into the future, these costs are not renewal’s biggest obstacles.

We need to recapture the shared sense of its importance – and urgency – that once enabled us to undertake and accomplish huge undertakings like the interstate highway system. And these were undertaken cooperatively with business and labor, all levels of government and the private sector and even Republicans and Democrats all working together to build, maintain and improve our roads, bridges, seaports, airports and railroads as well as ensuring clean water for a growing population.

Enactment of the first long-term transportation bill in more than a decade is a good start. But while only a start, it suggests that more agreement can be found and more progress made on other pressing infrastructure needs.