This week is Infrastructure Week 2016 – a great reminder to everyone about how important it is to invest in our roads, highways, bridges and transit systems. Unfortunately, the truth is that our roads, highways, bridges and transit systems are in terrible shape in many parts of the country, and they're getting worse. But if we made the investments necessary to modernize and maximize our infrastructure, we would boost economic growth, productivity and competitiveness, and make life better for millions of Americans.
You see, our economy relies on efficient transportation systems. Better roads, safer bridges and more efficient transit make American businesses, large and small, more competitive and help workers be more productive. In fact, the McKinsey Global Institute recently estimated that substantially increasing transportation investment to meet our country's needs could add 1.5 percent to annual economic growth and create 1.8 million jobs.
In order to have a world-leading economy that allows us to compete and win in the global marketplace, we need to have a world-class transportation network that can get goods and people where they need to be on time. In order to do this, those of us in Congress have an obligation to provide the resources that the federal government and state and local officials need to continue to build and maintain a strong national infrastructure that is efficient and safe for all Americans.
That is why, last year, when the Highway Trust Fund that supports construction and upkeep of America’s transportation systems was running out of money, I fought hard to convince my colleagues in Congress to find a long-term funding solution that would allow us to care for our infrastructure for years to come. Instead, Congress cobbled together funding from other programs that only supports the Highway Trust Fund for a short time – kicking the can down the road and forcing Congress to revisit this issue in the near future instead of finding a solution.
This Infrastructure Week, I want to remind my colleagues in Congress of our obligation to support a reliable, modern transportation system for the 21st century. By investing in our nation's roads, railways, highways, and bridges, we can help cement America’s continued economic prowess while putting American men and women back to work in Delaware and around the country.
As always, I look forward to hearing from you on this issue, or any other through email, or by contacting me on Twitter @SenatorCarper and on Facebook at facebook.com/tomcarper.