The country’s crumbling infrastructure will need nearly five times more to repair than Donald Trump’s pledge of $1 trillion, according to the American Society of Engineers.
The Engineers estimate it will cost $4.6 trillion to repair the nation’s roads, dams, airports, waterways and electrical systems, an estimate that exceeds what the entire Federal Government spends in a year.
Several governmental agencies place the price tag lower, but how much lower can they go and still spend enough to complete the tasks that need completed?
The staggering amount has been the result of years of neglect, while other issues took priority over the nation’s infrastructure. Airport organizations alone, say they need $100 million over the next five years, which also includes such things as parking lots and hangars for planes.
Most of the nation’s 15,000 dams are in need of maintenance that require $45 billion according to the engineer’s assessment. However, the Association of Dams place the price at about half that. The Federal Highway Administration calls for $384 billion for needed repairs to roads and bridges, but the engineers society calls for $1 trillion, which also includes expansions.
Repairing the nation’s infrastructure will be the birth of a high-stakes spending spree, regardless of whose figure you are looking at. The overall grade for the nation’s infrastructure is a D+, according to the engineers society.
During his campaign Trump said he would ask for $1 trillion, and lobbying efforts have already begun for more. Typically, federal agencies only ask for money needed to repair existing infrastructure and do not include expansion or other improvements.
No matter how you look at it, the amount needed is stunning and will set many in Congress back on their heels as they consider changes to healthcare and more for military spending. As for the healthcare overhaul the House is trying to shove through, they are attempting to do so without an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.
With an important election on the horizon next year, Congress must set the right priorities to keep voters happy if they want to keep their jobs.