WWL>Topics>>3-17 12:10pm Garland, failing infastructure

3-17 12:10pm Garland, failing infastructure

Mar 17, 2014|

Everyone seems to know America’s infrastructure is collapsing. But, will the money come? How about a gas tax hike? A growing number of states are finding they have no other choice. Would you pay…or accept risky roads and bridges? We were joined by Bob Poole, Director of Transportation Policy at Reason Foundation.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well we do do low last year couple show is based dawned upon things -- the American Society of Civil Engineers. Basically a big give viewers infrastructure. In these plots and they given and report the one I'm talking about was in 2013. And it was rather scary but. The things have been recently breeding. Suggest that things might be getting boards and there's always. Never knowing you're -- -- we recede. See. Hear or watch it is true we go to be here for a through ball pool -- this. Director of transportation policies and -- and the foundation better appreciated doesn't think the call I thank my flat and being here a blueprint something here from. This is march of last year a year ago. Says the American Society of Civil Engineers showed that natural infrastructure a single group above the stemming from declining to report for every day -- simply stop working the week people expect him to. Exactly does that mean are they afraid of a bridge they don't. Well I think they're trying to imply things like that and you have to remember. You know. Decided civil engineers. All the engineers have the big interest in in more money being spent on infrastructure that's that's what they do. The work of organized you know so you can't. At this as completely unbiased report that made it. Probably the worst case look at that data then there's well there's a lot of data out there that says we have problems with -- transportation infrastructure is it is my specialties so let them -- to limit my discussion to that you don't mind. Active that over the past ten years things got a lot better in our highway infrastructure in this country. That's partly because we have spent a lot more money the real inflation adjusted terms. Spending in play ten vs 2000. 37%. More capital investment in the hybrid system of highways and bridges. Then the industry -- before and that has really needed different we've seen we published report recent addition last year. That it came out in the in that word last year are I would probably -- US performance trends and so we looked at twenty year trend. And found that now every indicator things were better. After twenty years that that they were at the start and submitted improvements were dramatic the extent of world highways in poor condition. For this age 80% better than what it blows twenty years ago I mean that was that was the best one. The amount of deficient bridges. Did a decrease from. Improved by 37%. At least it'll blow over point percent of bridges are eager. Structurally deficient that about a 11%. And functionally obsolete which means that the air power two narrowed that explains whatever it is another about 12%. So you know. Close to a quarter -- -- -- what we would like them to be but only about 11% or actually what we call structurally deficient. And that goes generally -- limited. -- put signs that he can't go more than some 8000 pound to cross this bridge. So there's no real danger in most cases have some of them -- -- just Iraq -- Iran shortlist that need to be fixed as a priority. We -- you -- talk about. Operating in his underwear who's been a lot of money. Right to a federal or federal state and local. What the numbers that I was giving you or -- combination local state and federal. By big highways. Major highways. Each state. That state numbers or -- members like US highways or interstates. That majority. Federal. And the rest statement golf ball from from gasoline and diesel tax. And tell me if I'm wrong here read. -- divorce suits haven't read the gas tax in at least a decade succeed in abundance over twenty years or more that's right. All right and an -- a whole lot more -- uses it and yeah. Carson leaving gaps -- imprisoned by twenty Petit. Has one set of gas leaving numbers that are required. And by 25 two -- it's huge oh here Apollo power of his horses financing. According to win the thing that peninsula and then have been going down yet. So that's one of the big problems that that transportation spacing in this country to -- what highway trust fund that the federal level. Is in trouble. Party because congress. Spent more money -- was coming into the game. But it's also because fuel tax revenues are flat or declining. Partly to a significant degree because. These improvements -- average miles per gallon BP -- The stage you can go points or Miguel fuel averages. 25 years ago okay. And by 20/20 five it's going to be critical point of horror again. -- -- -- -- -- The -- gas tax as the main highway funding source is. On life support. Even if you believe it somehow you get political will to increase it by five or ten cents a gallon. Inflation will take care that end in you know a decade or so. And you're back restarted again with miles per gallon getting greater greater so we've got to figure out a better but the source. For the -- -- we have bud extra with a Bob ruled directorate transportation. Policy. And reason foundation. Who Bob bode tell me of lenders -- -- wrong dutrow basically saying. Well you know there in the business should drumming up business in the to the veterans we do that problem. Well we've been spending a whole lot more money and operate a lot more things that. Aren't. Now what do -- look at things like code and your activities. Apartment complex to blue -- oh yeah I don't know programs by. And I was reading him the New York talk computers -- at the most of the -- -- New York is from the 18100. Yeah. And based on the think -- center for the urban future they're looking at about supporting you billion dollars over the next five figures some extra payers. Is is this a common thing and -- is among read their report. He's older eastern cities that -- in northeastern and western city that is fairly common a lot of that underground water and sewer and and gas pipe is is. 7200 years -- And that really is the problem if these utilities which are almost all of run buying by municipal governments had been run like real businesses. They would have been setting aside money for replacement. You know for decades and decades. We can't account Columbus sinking fund. You know what part of the money taken from the monthly utility bills goes into a fund for eventual replacement. They have been doing. So they just go on in the long -- try to patch it up and eventually you start getting big failures. And so that area I think probably -- has be it not be minus. Rating. We -- humor to target but here we get the sinking city without -- -- Poland. We've got a -- get a deal in particular are very point and go back to -- Americans those yellow and you know civil engineers -- one of these reports and say. Whenever they're in good working order and require. Three point six trillion dollars by 22. Well I I can. Can't speak to the old world total -- infrastructure but the Federal Highway Administration just. Last couple weeks ago put out a major report that they do every other year on how much we need. To fix the highway system to properly invest. And it was way lower than all of their previous reports had estimated and there were two reasons for that. One with that. Construction cost and let them down significantly in the last few years and no guarantee it'll stay as close as today. But that means right now every dollar spent on construction. Replacement oil obsolete facilities support goes you know about 20% farther than it did. Five -- ten years ago. So this is a great time actually to be making those infrastructure investments. The ones that really aren't needed. Because interest rates -- blow. It ever been. And likewise the construction costs are historic low -- certainly in the process several decades. So. It. Accents to strike while the iron while those really good. Good opportunities available. And a lot of these things it can be financed with reverend ball. As long you have a revenue stream that that bond buyers can't trust. That it would be there and that's just the government promised that's not usually trustworthy. And what it. Why is it that at least put in a really good elder Chung. Maryland Massachusetts Pennsylvania Vermont -- -- of Washington. All increasing. What people were period the -- as the price of fuel rises. You -- true Utah Washington Iowa all working to raise the gas. I will be able to do with the -- to be doing that. Doing it because. Several desperate acts which pays for a lot of the highways has not been great since 1993. So that means more than twenty years and then the real value that -- overtime. Because of that place. So that's why it would used to buy. And of course we have continued problems but he better miles per gallon meaning people dropping further down gas. So quite a few states it just in the last two years of searching both the feds aren't gonna do it. You know we've got to deal. Tight belt and and pop up our political courage. And try to do self help and that I think a lot of these measures that the state level and self help measures. Basically because they don't really have that option giving them much help from the federal government. I would specifically -- talking about. Gasoline mileage Sanders 35 point five miles per gallon 2006. C 54 point five miles per gallon. By 20/20. Five. Average right now at 23 miles out from. Yeah that's gonna devastate the the highway where. -- We've got to replace it with a better more sustainable funding source and that's why a lot of us believe that some kind of way of charging per mile. Per mile driven rather than Purdue alum of of obsolete people. Eventually. It's going to be the way to go out count just figured out how to do that away that not invasive of privacy. That gives people choices and so on and so forth. And I have proposed to be consolidation big cities that we start with the interstate highway system. And for that we know it's gonna cost about a trillion dollars to rebuild it as each of those orders Wear out after its fifty year. Statement like. -- is accumulated. That's a major huge. Investment that we your pocket deal to develop fuel taxes. But we now have you know the transponder technology for a lot practical collection -- has gone particularly in the world. Right. And and this is all all of northeastern states have a standardized system called EZ pass. Then Florida State it's difficult -- pan out to California statewide system. So it's embedded within 23 years is going to be standardized nationwide and so just like did you -- what he commuted. Anywhere that the provider is in which state. Likewise with one transponder on -- windshield deep deep drive anywhere in the country would separate the whole system is to get one bill from your local provider. Just like with yourself. So that provides away if you would basically paid for the rebuilding of the -- states system quarter at a time with coal plants and using this will cost easy to do electronic -- That would be the Uga didn't convert at least the interstate is two per mile charges and don't leave the remaining gas tax for the for the rest of the high road. So basically told -- Well we don't feel. Yeah will be like paying utility built for electricity and water and cable and so forth. You've basically saying the interstate system would become. -- -- of of investor -- not necessarily better but as it used to pay type utilities. That provide due -- high premium highway transportation service. -- -- with the all the concerns about privacy and what happens if people just say no moss yeah offensive we had a -- -- that we know you're not gonna attract my car right it do you see any revenues streams of that will -- Well I think the question is do you have to do it by tracking people are so I think the answer to that is no. First below the simplest form of them per mile charge would be an annual -- -- And you know the old -- -- people could run the thing backwards and turn them but you can't really do that the electronic ones -- -- these states. So that would be the simplest option to give people that option if you don't want anything else you -- any technology come in once a year and we'll read your odometer. And did you know the rate will be specified by by the legislature book that what the rate is present year per mile driven. Intimacy and entrepreneur brewers communal conviction Upton turned back. -- else I don't know -- that there might there might. But you know there'll also be they're I talked a company visit accompanied just about ten days ago that has a cell phone app. Prepay your -- you know with the electronic local elections it's not it's you know they've done testing so far with two told system that worked it did today. Filming there's a lot of technology out there that may help to do this in ways that people would find acceptable. The whole press community is discussing and debating this it's going to be probably five years -- we have any kind of consensus on what. But the transportation guys that we think is the best way forward then the problems and it -- legislatures. And congress. Bob do if we hadn't talked to you wouldn't of whole bunch of misinformation. Thank you big time very much very much we see here are good. Are covered and then we'll talk to a researcher at the metropolitan. Policy program that is -- it's it's often time it's interesting to get. One X for one half -- one the next because. Almost invariably. You you'll get a different Soria got sneaky feeling that when. Won't be unit of from -- -- right after this you have questions you have comments. You're worried about paying a higher gas to secure worrying about. Putting. Transponder. And windshield like when you -- across the causeway only. You get charged for every interstate here between here what are -- driving. Talks. You gonna pay more of your road -- -- goes up a lot. Questions comments concerns too -- zero. 17203866. Faded dollar and 07.

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