U.S. infrastructure found wanting

July 27, 2011 at 10:38 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 27 (UPI) -- The gradual deterioration of the United States' transportation infrastructure is costing the nation $129 billion a year, a report issued Wednesday found.

The study done for the American Society of Civil Engineers calculates deficiencies in U.S. roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure adds $97 billion in vehicle operating expenses and $32 billion in travel delays, The Washington Post reported.

"If investments in surface transportation infrastructure are not made soon, these costs are expected to grow exponentially," the engineers group said. "Within 10 years, U.S. businesses would pay an added $430 billion in transportation costs, household incomes would fall by more than $7,000, and U.S. exports will fall by $28 billion."

The society's report follows one this spring by the Urban Land Institute warning the United States is falling behind three emerging economic competitors -- Brazil, China and India -- when it comes to transportation and concluding the nation needs to spend as much as $262 billion a year on its highways, rail networks and air transportation systems, the Post said.

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