NR Digital

The Infrastructure Bank We Need

by Samuel R. Staley

It would help markets help us build things

On the campaign trail this year, Donald Trump stumped for $1 trillion worth of infrastructure investments, promising to shore up America’s flagging road networks, water systems, utilities, telecommunications systems, and public facilities. In the weeks since his election, Trump has made clear that this infrastructure package will be an immediate priority for his administration. And that means that a national infrastructure bank might end up back at the top of the policy agenda after almost a decade of gridlock in Congress, as House and Senate Republicans look for ways to forge a more cooperative relationship with the White House.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) estimates that the U.S. faces a funding gap of $1.6 trillion  over the next eight years, or $201 billion annually, for a wide range of infrastructure. More than half of that deficit is concentrated in surface transportation (e.g., highways, commuter trains, ports). Highway- and road-infrastructure experts David Hartgen and Greg Fields estimate that commuters spend more than an entire work week each year stuck in traffic in Arizona, California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Virginia. More than one-fifth of the nation’s bridges are deficient and in need of repair.

Send a letter to the editor.

Get the NR Magazine App
iPad/iPhone   |   Android