Infrastructure is the foundation that makes the economy possible, shaping how Americans move, communicate, and earn a living. It is also essential to national competitiveness. When done right, infrastructure investments produce broad-based prosperity for American workers, facilitating social mobility and access to jobs, essential services, educational opportunities, people, and ideas.
Unfortunately, this social and economic foundation is crumbling. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gives the United States an overall infrastructure grade of D+, estimating a more than $2 trillion funding gap between needs and expected spending by all levels of government over the next 10 years.1 This gap is troubling, because inadequate facilities drag down economic productivity—especially in growing, dynamic regions. Many smaller communities struggle to repair crumbling older facilities, pushing out businesses and creating a downward spiral of population loss and a reduced tax base.This article was originally published in Center for American Progress.