If the United States wants to get its infrastructure up to date, it’s going to need to throw $2 trillion at it. The US is falling behind much of the world when it comes to improving and expanding its transportation network, and now lags behind Brazil, China, and India, a new study by the Urban Land Institute finds. One stark example: In the US, the FAA’s funding bill expired in 2007 and has been extended 18 times, while in China, $1 trillion will be spent on high-speed rail, highways, and more infrastructure projects in five years.
The yawning chasm between highways and water treatment plants nearing obsolescence and Congress' desire to hack spending will push costs onto cash-strapped localities, the Washington Post reports. The report sees a future in which US cities abandon services and let rural roads return to nature. Eventually, it concludes, taxes, tolls, and water bills will increase and private companies will play a larger role in public projects. A panel of 80 experts looked into the same issues last fall, concluding that the US must spend as much as $262 billion a year on highways, rail networks, and air transport.