Aging U.S. Infrastructure Effects Business

Every business in the United States relies on the infrastructure to be able to get its products or services to its customers. They need to be linked to a transportation network so that they can ship goods to its customers or be easily accessible to its customers if they need to come to them. Right now our country’s infrastructure is aging and deteriorating, and the country is spending less to keep it maintained, relative to other countries. The United States spends only around two percent of its GDP on infrastructure while Europe spends around five percent and China around nine.[1] The current state of our infrastructure is already causing headaches for people working in the transportation industry and will surely continue to worsen as our roads, bridges, locks, and air ports continue to age.
The ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) released a report card grading the nation’s infrastructure in 2009. The results of the report card are quite concerning. Aviation received a D, bridges received a C, inland waterways received a D-, rail received a C-, and roads received a D-.[2] Mr. Seifarth from Logicos, showed us the challenges Logicos faces with the increasing number of over aged locks and the increasing age of barges. This is unfortunately the state for many other forms of infrastructure as well. In 2009 “more than 26%, or one in four, of the nation’s bridges are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete”.[3]
The Brent Spence Bridge in Ohio is a bridge “the federal government has labeled “functionally obsolete” and unsafe”. [4] It is also ranked by the American Highway Users Alliance as “one of the 24 worst highway bottlenecks in the United States.”[4] It is so bad in fact that “UPS trucks avoid the bridge as much as possible but that adds time to its routes, [and] pushing up costs”.[1]
Sources:
[1] http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/16/uk-usa-economy-infrastructure-idUSLNE77E04E20110816
[2] http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/
[3] http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/fact-sheet/bridges
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brent_Spence_Bridge

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