Infrastructure is the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g. buildings, roads, power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.
The State Infrastructure:
According to American Infrastructure Report Card ASCE, in 2017 the US got a D+. Each year American politicians raise concerns over the deteriorating infrastructural facilities in the country. Many reports have been conducted where it is concluded that if this sector doesn’t get the proper attention it needs, it will be really difficult in the future to bring it on the right track again.
Now a lot of you must be wondering what includes the infrastructure sector? Basically, it consists of all the public structures that are key factors in raising any economy’s standard of living by improving the conditions of roads, bridges, constructing new dams and many other facilities. These structures not only hold a very significant place in the lives of the residents of US but also are very crucial for the economy itself. An engineer and historian Henry Petroski explain in his book The Road Taken: The History and Future of America’s Infrastructure, poor infrastructure can impose large costs on the U.S. economy. According to Petroski, the traffic delays alone cost the economy over $120 billion per year. Airports also have the same issue: international tourism supports 1.2 million U.S. jobs and brings in hundreds of billions of dollars of tax revenue. In any case, a few investigations have discovered that delays and evaded trips because of the poor condition of the country’s air terminals cost the economy over $35 billion every year
According to a CNN article, a news report says that it will take estimate 80 years for the US to repair all the structurally deficient and damaged bridges. The American Road and Transportation Builders Association say that there are about 47000 bridges that are in dire need of repair otherwise they can collapse if there are no measures taken to repair them on time. It’s like a rubber band, if you stretch it and stretch it, there will be a point when it will snap.
What happens if we don’t repair the road? Or it stays the same? The answer to these questions is the same: safety. If roads are not repaired for a long period of time it starts decaying and cracking, which not only causes shaky drives but also can be a big reason in the traffic delays as well as causing accidents. The roads are usually filled with bumps, potholes, and are not maintained properly or lack necessary features like shoulders and rumble strips which can fuel collisions, putting drivers and passengers at increased risk of injury and even death. The condition of these structures varies from state to state to state with Illinois and Connecticut taking the lead by having 73% of the roads with either mediocre or terrible conditions that are not safe for driving.
- Air Travel:
People use to find air travel soothing and a better mode of transportation, but nowadays it is as unexciting as going to the dentist or the gas station. The airports are extremely busy and crowded with unpleasant staff and slow service. The aircraft is also very unruly and disgustingly unkept with cramped seats and overcrowded passengers. Due to this reason, people are opting for other options they can take to travel from one place to another, causing a very negative effect on the profits raised by air travel each year.
What Presidential Candidates Of 2020 Promise To Do About The Infrastructure:
The former Vice President Joe Biden said he would invest 50 billion in the first year of his term (if elected) on repairing the existing roads and bridges so that people could drive safely and smoothly, $10 billion over 10 years to build transit in high poverty areas, and a grant program for cities to transition to autonomous vehicles. He also aims to replace old pipes and investing in water infrastructure, taking care of lead and other contaminations that are polluting the waters.
The former mayor Mike Bloomberg Mike vows to fix 240,000 miles of roads and 16,000 bridges that need to be repaired, by 2025, by spending $850 billion over 10 years on capital projects and coming up with a $1 billion annual pothole fund for emergency repairs.
Former Mayor, Pete Buttigieg promised investment in sustainable infrastructure that would enable economic growth in 50 percent of U.S. counties over the next 10 years. He has also proposed to repair massive projects through a $200 billion job training program, as well as six million new construction jobs. A large portion of his plan emphasizes a national Vision Zero policy, stressing the importance of making traffic safety a national priority.
How Can Infrastructure Be Improved In The Future:
What the US needs is to firstly, do good research on the areas that need improvements. Give proper attention to each one of them whether they are roads, water, air travel facilities or other infrastructure factors. When the correct information is gathered then according to the numbers, budgets can be allocated to each of them so that there are no complications. Furthermore, a committee should be made that only focuses on the time management of these repairs. Like, after how many years these structures should again be looked at.
To fix anything, we must give care and attention to it, look after it and do not neglect is. Same goes for the deteriorating infrastructure, what the government needs to do is to give proper attention to it. After every four to five years the structures should be checked for any damages that can cause serious danger to the people if left as it is. Then it should be immediately fixed and should not be procrastinated upon. Also, the residents like us should make sure that we are not playing a part in ruining our country by doing basic things like not throwing trash in the bins which can play a part in polluting the waters or by driving recklessly. It is a joint effort all of us should do everything we can to help our country so our future is a little brighter.