The United States’ infrastructure has received an overall grade of C- from the American Society of Civil Engineers – the first time the nation’s infrastructure has scored outside the D range in 20 years.
Rick Geddes, professor and founding director of Cornell University’s Program in Infrastructure Policy, is an expert on the funding, financing and operation of civil and social infrastructure. He says the biggest challenge to improving America’s infrastructure is funding.
“The fundamental challenge in addressing America’s infrastructure problem is adequate funding. The vast majority of infrastructure assets in the United States are owned by state and local governments, whose financial resources have been depleted even further by the current pandemic.
“However, there are innovative forms of infrastructure funding and finance, such as asset recycling, value capture, and public private partnerships. While employed regularly in other countries, these revenue sources are relatively underutilized in the United States. A bi-partisan infrastructure bill at the federal level offers an opportunity to incentivize these alternate approaches at the state and local levels.”