As we move into reauthorizing the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, recently reported data shows Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia will need to spend a collective $1.8 billion prior to September 30, 2020—the FAST Act expiration— on improvements to National Highway System (NHS) bridges and Interstate Maintenance.
Before the FAST Act, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act, eliminated three formula grant programs – Interstate Maintenance, National Highway System, and Highway Bridge – and consolidated them into a new National Highway Performance Program (NHPP). Under this new program, MAP-21 established , and FAST Act retained, a system of national highway performance goals and measures for both National Highway System (NHS) Bridges and Interstates:
This data confirms ASCE’s 2017 Infrastructure Report Card grades for our nation’s bridges “C+,” and Roads “D,” and we must continue to support strong federal investment in our nation’s surface transportation network. These subpar grades are the results of long-term underinvestment and an underwhelming federal partnership. Despite strong leadership across many state and local governments, our infrastructure will continue to degrade if the federal government does not step up to the plate.
As Congress continues to debate the future of our nation’s surface transportation infrastructure, we must continue to urge for a long-term Highway Trust Fund (HTF) revenue solution and develop the next authorization bill. Failing to sufficiently invest in America’s deteriorating infrastructure will have a cascading impact on the nation’s economy, which will impact business productivity, GDP, employment, personal income, international competitiveness, and public safety. Now is the time form action!