Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

America’s continued failure to seriously invest in rebuilding our transportation infrastructure is costing us jobs and putting our global competitiveness at risk, according to a new report from the Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness at Duke University.

Here are 14 reasons why Members of Congress should pass a long-term plan to rebuild our nation's infrastructure when they return to Washington in November. 


1. Congress hasn’t passed a long-term transportation bill since August 2005. For a little perspective, that’s the same year YouTube, the Huffington Post, and the Colbert Report all launched.

2. The result: One in five of our roads is in poor condition and one in five of our bridges is considered deficient. 

3. The backlog of assets requiring repair is around $85.9 billion.

4. In fact, the United States now ranks 16th overall and sixth among our top trading partners when it comes to our transportation infrastructure.

5. Americans collectively spend roughly 600,000 years stuck in traffic annually because of our poor infrastructure.

6. That congestion led to $200 billion in direct losses to the economy in 2007 alone.

7. Americans also collectively wait more than 200 years in airports each year, costing $8.1 billion annually to the airline industry alone.

8. The American Society of Civil Engineers found that in 2013, the annual collective cost to cars from unrepaired or poor infrastructure was more than $67 billion — $324 per driver.

9. But here’s the great news. The Duke researchers also found that 21,500+ jobs could be supported for every $1 billion spent on infrastructure.

10. A low funding scenario of about $72.3 billion — basically enough to maintain the status quo — would support nearly 1.6 million jobs.

11. A mid-range scenario of $90.9 billion, which is what President Obama asked for in his fiscal year 2015 budget request, would support nearly 2 million jobs.

12. A high scenario of $114.2 billion a year —what the U.S. Department of Transportation recommended in a 2013 report —would support nearly 2.5 million jobs, or about 908,500 more than the low funding scenario.

13. Under the low funding scenario, more than 72,000 manufacturing jobs could be created; the high scenario would result in more than 114,000 manufacturing jobs.

14. Every dollar invested in transportation infrastructure returns $3.54 in economic impact.