“President Obama’s plan to kickstart the economy and put the American people back to work includes investing in the nation’s rapidly deteriorating infrastructure, which, as studies have shown, is in need of as much as $2 trillion in immediate investment just to bring it up to date. In the past, Republicans have agreed that infrastructure improvements are needed, but in the context of economic stimulus and in their effort to remain opposed to anything Obama offers, they have chosen to ignore the nation’s infrastructure and jobs crises. Unfortunately, that approach doesn’t mean either crisis will go away.
Republican leadership has continually blocked efforts by Obama and Congressional Democrats to invest in infrastructure improvements, and as a result, bridges and roadways in their states are crumbling. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, about 12 percent of the nation’s bridges are considered “structurally deficient,” the same rating given to the Minneapolis bridge that collapsed in 2007, killing 13 people. Roughly another 12 percent are considered “functionally obsolete.” In four of the five states represented by Republican congressional leadership, the rate of structurally deficient or functionally obsolete bridges outpaces the national average.”