November 2014

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Infrastructure 22 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | November 2014 and congestion problems along urban corridors and airport runways. Others experience breakdowns in water supply and sewage because much of the nation's drinking water and wastewater infrastruc- ture is rapidly aging. Even private infrastructure is not immune from underinvestment. However, most notably and notice- ably deficient is the state of the nation's streets and highways. Costs in time, wasted fuel and vehicle maintenance continue to grow annually. According to the Texas A&M Transportation Institute's 2012 Annual Urban Mobility Report, the cost of congestion has escalated to $121 billion, or $818 per commuter. Trucks moving freight along the nation's roads and highways bear a significant cost of that congestion – $27 billion is derived from wasted time and diesel fuel. Quantifiable evidence exists to support public concern over the current state of U.S. infrastructure. Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) conducts a national assessment of conditions and investment needs for major types of infrastructure, includ- ing roads, bridges, water systems, ports, mass transit and the electricity grid. According to the ASCE, the nation's infrastructure is failing. Few of the systems garner even a "C" grade, and the overall grade in 2013 was a "D+," up from a "D" in 2009. This report provides a historical accounting of infrastructure invest- ment and offers a "whole picture" assessment that is important to the well-being and growth of the manufacturing economy. The report provides new evidence on the state of private-sector infrastructure and offers additional data concerning the deteriorating state of U.S. public infrastructure. Findings include the following: n Recent trends in private sector infrastructure investment reflect a mixed performance. Freight rail and electric utilities have experienced steady and strong investment over the past decade. On the other end, capital investment in the communi- cations and private water supply and wastewater industries would have been more robust if it were not for a protracted recession, a slow recovery and uncertainties in the regula- tory environment. The burgeoning pipeline industry requires new invest- ments and the regulatory certainty that would come from successful approval and construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. n The average annual growth of real GDP and real public ("The Case for Catching Up" continued from page 20)

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