$1 trillion spending gap for U.S. infrastructure holds real consequences

Updated Jan 23, 2013

1358427937“Infrastructure is the most important thing you never think about,” Jim Hoecker, the former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, told the Washington Post.

Indeed, should the U.S. not invest $1.1 trillion more in infrastructure by 2020, experts warn power outages will increase, food and clothing prices will jump, bridges will begin to crumble into non-use as traffic piles up and household income will drop.

All of the above warnings came in a report titled “Failure to Act” by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The report says $2.6 trillion is needed for U.S. infrastructure improvements by 2020. But the likely funding available is only $1.6 trillion.

The report says as many as 3.5 million jobs could be lost without the added funds while the average loss of income per household could be more than $3,000 per year. And between 2021 and 2040, disposable income losses could exceed $6,000 annually.

The ASCE report comes after a sweeping report by the Washington Post of the crumbling state of U.S. infrastructure and bridges, most of which are nearing the end of life status