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The American Society of Civil Engineers gives our country a D grade when it comes to taking care of our basic infrastructure. Back in the 1950s, the US spent about 3 percent of GDP a year in public infrastructure. Today, it’s a paltry 1.3 percent.One in four bridges in America are crumbling; one-third of our roads need repair, and our transit systems are way out of date. Here in New York, one-half of the state’s highways and bridges were built before 1970 and are badly in need of repair. According to the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), 61% of the bridges on Long Island are hazardous to the public.
Addressing the nation’s infrastructure needs is crucial to the economic recovery of our region. Unemployment within the building trades on Long Island has reached 30% to 50% in some local unions. Investments in infrastructure will spur productivity and increase competitiveness and put workers back to work. For every billion dollars spent on construction projects in New York, an estimated 10,106 direct and indirect jobs are created according to the Congressional Research Service.
Read our op-ed, “The Choice: Job Creation or Obstructionism," which addresses the relationship between investments in infrastructure, job creation and competing in the global economy.