Mass_Transit_June_2021 - 12

[
GUEST OPINION
]
A National Infrastructure Bank
Could Solve the U.S.'s Trillion-Dollar
Infrastructure Investment Challenge
The creation of a National Infrastructure Bank will cover project
costs that federal, state and local governments are unable to cover.
E
Stanley Forczek
Stanley Forczek has
more than four decades
of experience in
transportation/energy
planning and management,
and currently serves on
the Advisory Team of the
Coalition for the National
Infrastructure Bank.
VERYBODY AGREES THE
United States' crumbling infrastructure
must be fixed.
The problem is nobody knows
how to pay for it. Most of the nation's
infrastructure needs are
within the transportation/transit
sector, especially with the
emergence of an integrated rail
transportation network. There
is a need for both a high-speed
rail system and an integrated
conventional rail network. The
nation needs to get its traveling citizens off the
overcrowded roads and highways. The Coalition
for a National Bank has the answer.
As Congress takes up the issue of financing
infrastructure through the budget process, we
urge the immediate creation of a new National
Infrastructure Bank (NIB). This bank will cover
projects that the federal budget and state and
local governments are not able to cover.
The need for such a bank was underscored
yet again when the American Society of Civil
Engineers issued its quadrennial Report Card
for the United States and graded the nation's
overall infrastructure as a C-. ASCE estimated
that the gap between what is currently funded
and what is needed over the next 10 years has
grown to $2.6 trillion. The country needs to
spend nearly $6 trillion to bring the infrastructure
to a state of good repair. Highlights of the
Report Card include:
* Growing wear and tear on the nation's roads
have left 43 percent of public roadways in poor
or mediocre condition, a number that has remained
stagnant over the past several years.
* Currently, 42 percent of all bridges are at
least 50-years old, and 46,154 are considered
12 | Mass Transit | MassTransitmag.com | JUNE 2021
Amtrak
THE HUDSON River Tunnels project is one
proposed use of funds for a future National
Infrastructure Bank in the U.S.
The new NIB will work
side by side with state and
municipal governments
and transit and port
authorities to invest more
than $1 trillion to fix all
surface transportation.
structurally deficient, meaning they are in
" poor " condition, but still in use and waiting
to collapse.
Congress will fund a certain amount of this
through the budget. We support that. A new National
Infrastructure Bank will finance the rest,
approximately $5 trillion. This will include all
the new 21st century projects such as: universal
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