Infrastructure needs

Date posted: December 9, 2010

There is talk of another government stimulus package, which would focus on areas like road, bridges, reservoirs and water treatment plants. These types of projects are generally lumped together and called infrastructure. But didn’t the first stimulus plan address these items? N.C. State University economist Mike Walden answers.

“About $72 billion was spent on infrastructure from the first stimulus plan. The problem is that’s just a drop in the bucket in terms of what experts think is needed for upgrading our infrastructure.

“For example, in the next five years the experts estimate that the needed road and bridge spending in order to keep pace with growth as well as maintenance will top $1 trillion — $1 trillion.

“In terms of what we need to spend on reservoirs and treatment plants, add another $250 billion; solid waste facilities, $80 billion; airports, $90 billion.

“So the issue here is we have a very pressing need to upgrade and expand our infrastructure, and we’ve really only started doing it.”

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