With major delays on the DC metro during rush hour, two train derailments, and Arizona’s state report card release, 15 days until the Highway Trust Fund expires, Infrastructure Week highlighted the importance of investing in infrastructure through and a week of planned infrastructure awareness events and the unforeseen infrastructure problems. echo the pleas for a sustainable funding solution. After an Amtrak train derailed on along the Northeast Corridor Tuesday night killing eight and injuring over 200 people, our nation’s rail infrastructure was thrust into the spotlight. Despite the exact causes for the derailment, which are still unknown, the incident prompted a national conversation about the need to increase investment into our infrastructure.
Outlets including International Business Times ,CNBC and Slate discussed the derailment in the context of our aging infrastructure needs, quoting ASCE’s Infrastructure Report Card recommendation to “improve passenger rail in dense urban corridor markets and as an alternative to air and automobile travel for intercity markets.” Even if poor rail conditions didn’t cause the derailment, ASCE agrees that a better-funded and maintained system could have prevented it.
According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, Amtrak is expected to “quadruple its total ridership by 2040,” yet the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee cut Amtrak funding by $252 million this week. While derailments like Tuesday’s have numerous causation factors, infrastructure increased investment is necessary to modernize the system regardless. In addition to Amtrak, 11 to 13 cars from a freight train derailed on Thursday in Pittsburgh, Pa., causing traffic backups. Though this incident did not cause any injuries, the damage expenses reflect the need for better investment upfront.
The Washington Post explores the cost of delaying infrastructure repairs and contrasts it with the opportunity investing in infrastructure creates. point to the need for a long-term, sustainable funding solution as Improving the current planning and funding process would not only necessary for maintenance but a way to enhance our nation’s competitiveness, sustainable footprint and create up to an estimated 2 million jobs, the author argues.
The Arizona Report Card advocates for keeping infrastructure in a state of good repair because of how important it is to our daily lives. Further, the report underscores the need to invest in smart projects that will support Arizona’s expected population growth and make the state even more economically competitive. Due to infrastructure needs becoming more visibly apparent, states like Arizona have released a state infrastructure report card to carefully evaluate their nation’ infrastructure needs. For Arizona, the infrastructure report card helps them determine which infrastructure sectors need the most investment.
From DC’s Metro delays on Monday morning, to state DOTs warning what is at stake if Congress does not fix the Highway Trust Fund , this week shows it’s time for Congress to come together in a bipartisan fashion and Given the Highway Trust Fund’s impending insolvency, it is more critical than ever that Congress work together to pass legislation to that provides a sustainable, long-term funding solution to #FixTheTrustFund.
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