America's Infrastructure: Just How Bad Is It?

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June 24 (Bloomberg) -- Casey Dinges, senior managing director at the American Society of Civil Engineers, and Joshua Schank, president and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation, discuss the aging U.S. infrastructure with Pimm Fox on "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg)

How do you come up with this grading system and what does it tell us?

We are not investing adequately and we have not been investing well for a long time.

The infrastructure, key parts of it, they were put in place 50 or 60 years ago.

It is a perfect storm for water systems, transportation systems, dams and levees.

Overall we found a need of 3.6 trillion dollars.

$2 trillion of that will be met.

A doable challenge, it is not just a governmental issue.

There will be a bigger role for the private sector going forward.

You wrote in a recent op-ed for the new york times one of the big structural changes in the u.s., the bridge condition but the travel condition.

More people living in urban areas.

Is it going to have to get bad with commutes to get congress to do something?

I do not think congress should be looked at to solve committing problems.

One the reasons it has been difficult to get the fuel tax increase is it has not been increased over 20 years.

People do not vote in national elections thinking maybe this will help my commute.

Their vote does affect their commute.

If we do not fund infrastructure and transportation at the federal level we will see economic losses.

We will see people having a harder time getting to work.

We are very depressed about our future commute.

Are there any solutions?

What about state or local funding.

You heard phil mattingly talk about how there will be a private public ownership.

That the department of transportation saying that is also likely.

A study looked at the capacity of states to substitute for federal funding if that funding was lost.

It was rather limited.

States cannot bear this burden fully on its own.

It is too big.

Public-private partnerships, we have done a lot of work in that area.

They are a small fraction of the total amount of investment and they do not generate revenue in and of themselves.

The bottom line is you need more money but we could also spend what we have more effectively.

And potentially operate the system more effectively.

Those things we should be looking at.

If you want to talk about roadways and bridges but the water system.

That is a good point.

In water, we spend a lot and investing in treatment systems and delivering that water.

There are a quarter million breaks in this country.

I would like to loop back a little bit.

The economic risks that the nation is facing by not addressing this issue, we did the failure to act series of economic reports in between 2013 and 2020 the u.s. is putting at risk $3 trillion in gdp and $1 trillion in trade value and -- by not stepping up in dealing with it.

It is worth voiding out the states have been stepping up.

They have been indexing user fees to inflation but the states are counting on the federal government being a reasonable and reliable partner.

The feds cannot let the highway trust fund go bankrupt.

They have to, with a solution.

There are several proposals out there.

It is politically tough for some but when you explain we have not adjusted this user fee and it was never adjusted for inflation, they will understand and then you point out if the

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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