Tolling Photo: File photo
The call for expanded interstate tolling drew strong reaction from both sides of the debate.

Infrastructure: Talk is good, action is better

During his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump asked Congress to draft a bill that would generate at least $1.5 trillion for infrastructure developments. This new figure is $500 billion more than the amount he previously talked about for infrastructure improvements.

Trump called on Democrats and Republicans to work together to craft a bill that would  “give us a safe, fast, reliable and modern infrastructure.”

I agree with the need for infrastructure funding. Our roads and bridges need repair  — immediately. We need to invest now for the future so that we are ready for things like autonomous trucks and electric vehicles, when they become commercially viable.

Since the spec the President has fleshed out the plan a bit and seems to be looking for money from the federal government, state governments and private investors. In addition, Trump wants to eliminate the “red tape” he says slows projects down.

While we now have a few additional details we need to begin work on the infrastructure soon since last year the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2017 Infrastructure Report Card graded it D+.

Increased tolling is one of the options on the table to fund the improvements.  I think most of us agree that we don’t want to see increased tolling, but would rather see fuel taxes used to raise the funds, if needed.

I, for one, am glad we’re talking about the fact that our roads and bridges are in need of repair and upgrades. And having a few more details gives us a good basis to move forward from. The time has come to stop talking about the need for infrastructure improvements and to start actually making those improvements.

This is one of those times I urge you to contact your Senators and Representatives to let them know just how important you think infrastructure improvements are and tell them you expect them to come up a practical, realistic and detailed way to pay for it.

If we don’t start doing something now, will our grade move down from a D+ to a D- or worse?

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