Financial District: Slow motion meltdown
Infrastructure is an investment – treat it that way, says new report.
By John Latta
Another new report argues the only way to create and carry out long-term infrastructure policies and practices is to address America’s infrastructure as an investment, something that we do not do now.
The report, Infrastructure 2010: Investment Imperative, from the Urban land Institute and Ernst & Young, offers a simple thesis: “We must start treating infrastructure like investment.
“Too often we treat it as anything but, funneling spending through siloed formulas and sidestepping critical questions about the country’s longer-term infrastructure strategy and vision,” says the report, the fourth in an annual series. “The nation’s vast infrastructure needs offer opportunity to create much-needed jobs while making the lasting, integrated infrastructure investments that will lay the foundation for future prosperity.”
When it comes to roads, the report says: “Either local, state, or federal taxes must increase to meet the burden or older streets will fill with potholes, raising safety concerns and threatening property values.”
The report recognizes “signs of renewed commitment to infrastructure” at state and local government levels with initiatives to build and fund new projects and in creative partnerships between agencies at a federal level. “These are promising moves, but more needs to be done.”
When it comes to infrastructure, the United States finds itself between a rock and a hard place, says the report.
“Economic fallout, competing priorities and sticker shock prevent the country from aggressively addressing a slow-motion meltdown – the consequence of underinvesting in transport, water, and other networks for the past 30 years.”