Tag Archives: Infrastructure

What the Atlanta Highway Collapse Signals about American Infrastructure

Atlanta is already known for having some of the worst traffic in the world, and the recent collapse along a major interstate will only make congestion worse. On March 30, in the middle of rush hour traffic, a fire began under the I-85 Northbound that quickly erupted into a massive blaze, eventually causing a section of the bridge to collapse.

Less than 24-hours later, with the rubble still smoldering, the US Department of Transportation announced a $10 million award to begin emergency repairs. Despite the quick response from the DOT, it will take millions more dollars before I-85 can resume carrying 400,000 vehicles daily.

With the nation’s Highway Trust Fund rapidly approaching insolvency, the I-85 collapse and the subsequent Atlanta traffic chaos exemplify the overwhelming cost and inefficiency of public infrastructure in America.

Why So Expensive?

In the United States, transit projects are chronically expensive and time-consuming. The country’s outdated method of allowing most highways to fall under federal care, and cumbersome regulatory obstacles, is part of the reason that we continue to lag behind when it comes to international standards. Regulatory burdens also contribute to other countries’ outranking the US when it comes to securing construction permits, making new projects and maintenance even more complicated.

Read more at FEE

Who Will Build the Roads? Soon, Not the US Government

A generation or two into the future, people will look back on the 21st century in amazement that nearly every piece of transportation infrastructure in the United States was once owned by the government.

The nation’s roads, airports, seaports and mass transit systems are almost all currently under the stewardship of a federal, state or local body. But as maintenance costs balloon and systems deteriorate, money to pay for the ongoing costs of infrastructure remain scarce.

Faced with the prospect of cutting costs elsewhere to pay for road repairs or upgrades to port facilities, cities and states are more and more deciding that the private sector has a role to play in transportation.

This also according to eminent infrastructure economist Robert Poole at the Reason Foundation. He has been writing on infrastructure privatization for decades, including a monthly newsletter that documents developments in the world of private infrastructure, as well as the growing trend against government monopoly in infrastructure.

Today, there are more miles of private, tolled interstate lanes being built than at any time in history. Meanwhile, the commercialization of the federally run air traffic control system could very well happen this year.

Read the full article at the PanAm Post.

Australia’s political class want higher taxes, not real reform

Rarely does a month go by without some Australian politician, journalist, or commentator lamenting the end of Australia’s reform era.

Ex-politicians like Lindsay Tanner, and journalists like Laura Tingle and George Megalogenis, have blamed the inability to enact necessary reforms on everything from the 24-hour news cycle and an over-reliance on opinion polls, to the decline of the federal bureaucracy. Government’s themselves have cited a recalcitrant senate and an opposition that only says no.

What no one seems to have realized is that Australia’s political class doesn’t want real reform. They want high taxes and lavish spending proposals, typical of continental Europe. Nothing highlights this more than the vastly different reactions to Turnbull’s two most recent ideas—high speed rail and the return of income tax to the states.

Read the rest on The Spectator, here.