With holiday travel underway and harsh weather already arriving in some regions, the state of our nation’s highways will become even more apparent as thousands of Americans take to the roads to visit family and friends during the Thanksgiving holiday. However, our current D+ in infrastructure and lack of sufficient funding for the Highway Trust Fund don’t promise improvement without Congress taking intentional measures to provide long-term, sustainable funds.
Every year, drivers sit idling in traffic for 34 hours longer than they need to because of unnecessary congestion. Congestion is not only aggravating it also costs Americans approximately $101 billion each year in wasted gas.
The media recognize that Band-Aids and temporary fixes to the nation’s surface transportation will no longer suffice. More and more media coverage is making the case for a long-term, sustainable funding solution and advocating for increasing revenues.
A recent article from USA Today stated that funding our highways should be among Congress’ top five priorities for the year’s end. And the public overwhelmingly agrees. According to a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Americans indicated they support increased infrastructure investment for roads and highways even more strongly than tax reform.
“This issue affects every community, every user of our system, whether they’re driving, whether they’re using transit in some way,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, “And I don’t see how we can get through this in a good way as a country without Congress coming to the table and actually passing a long-term transportation bill.”
Media coverage in Tennessee, Delaware and Wisconsin each highlighted their state’s need for lasting solutions to revitalize their aging infrastructure. And this past week, ASCE members in Montana released their state’s inaugural Infrastructure Report Card, giving Montana an overall infrastructure grade of C-.
With winter weather bearing down, increased holiday travel and growing media attention, including ASCE Past President Andy Herrmann’s Nov. 23 interview with 60 Minutes focusing on our nation’s deteriorating infrastructure, Congress should act now to #FixtheTrustFund.