Tag: Infrastructure Spending

Beth Osborne, director of Transportation for America, joins City Journal contributing editor Nicole Gelinas to discuss the state of U.S. infrastructure and how federal spending could be used more effectively to improve safety and reduce fiscal waste.

The federal government spends between $40 billion and $60 billion on transportation infrastructure annually. In recent years, congressional leaders and the White House have pushed a $2 trillion plan to upgrade roads, bridges, and more. But such proposals, Osborne argues, “would throw more money into the same flawed system.”

Robert Poole joins City Journal contributing editor Nicole Gelinas to discuss Poole’s new book, Rethinking America’s Highways: a 21st-Century Vision for Better Infrastructure.

Americans spend untold hours every year sitting in traffic. And despite billions of taxpayer dollars spent by transportation agencies, our nation’s roads, tunnels, guardrails, and bridges are in serious disrepair. According to transportation expert Poole, traffic jams and infrastructure deterioration are inevitable outcomes of American infrastructure policymaking, which is overly politicized and prone to short-term thinking.

This week on Banter, AEI visiting scholar and director of the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy Rick Geddes joined the show to discuss the Trump administration’s long-awaited infrastructure plan and the future of US infrastructure policy. Geddes’ work at AEI focuses on infrastructure, public and private partnerships, the US postal system and postal delivery policy, and corporate governance. He hosted Under Secretary for Policy at the Department of Transportation Derek Kan and a panel of infrastructure policy experts at AEI for a discussion of the details of the plan. You can watch the full event video at the link below.

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John Tierney joins Seth Barron to discuss the Trump administration’s plans to reform how infrastructure projects are managed and funded.

Civil engineers and other experts (including here at City Journal) have warned for years that the country’s roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, and rail lines are in serious need of repair. Thanks in part to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, infrastructure is now at the top of the national agenda.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. New York City’s Infrastructure Is a Mess. Who Is to Pay?

 

Bloomberg News/Businessweek ran an extensive piece about the potentially disastrous condition of Penn Station in New York City and the perilous state of the two Hudson River tunnels that feed it. The tunnels are over 100 years old. The construction fill from the original World Trade Center that was used to create new land changed the course of the Hudson in such a way as to erode the river bed above the tunnels. Hurricane Sandy partly filled the tunnels with salty water, and the salt deposits are eating away at the elderly concrete.

The tunnels now carry far more people than they were ever envisioned to carry into the busiest single train station in the United States, so closing them for repairs would congest commuter traffic horribly, and projects to construct newer tunnels to supplement these aging ones have never come to fruition. So the author of the piece, Devin Leonard, details in his article:

As the gateway to America’s largest city, Penn Station should inspire awe, as train stations do in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other competently managed metropolises. Instead, it embodies a particular kind of American failure—the inability to maintain roads, rails, ports, and other necessary conduits. For generations, the officials connected to Penn Station have been blind to, or unable to deliver on, the idea that improving the station would more than pay for itself. (One estimate, from the Business Roundtable, says that a dollar invested in infrastructure yields as much as $3 in economic growth.) In the final days of 2017, the situation reached perhaps its bleakest point yet, when the Trump administration signaled its disinterest in coming to the rescue: The president will not honor an Obama-era commitment to New York and New Jersey to foot half the cost of a new tunnel, dumping planners back at square one. [emphasis mine]