An ASCE status report outlines the COVID-19 pandemic’s “detrimental effects” on a broad swath of publicly-owned U.S. infrastructure assets, including airports and roads.

The report, “COVID-19’s Impacts on America’s Infrastructure,” also notes that municipal and state budgets have had to “re-prioritize spending” due to falling tax and fee revenues, reducing fiscal support for parks, schools, and other publicly owned infrastructure. Examples include a projected 30% revenue decline in the next 18 months for state DOTs across the country and an estimated $23.3 billion loss in airport revenue due to a 95 percent decline in domestic air travel.

ASCE’s report also provides several fiscal options to help those infrastructure systems recover from the pandemic. A few of the proposals include:

  • Providing $50 billion in immediate short-term relief for state DOTs so that bridges, roads, and transit systems may remain safe and reliable, a similar request to Congress championed by ACPA and other organizations.
  • Providing $10 billion to mitigate the pandemic’s growing impacts on the nation’s airports, in addition to the $10 billion in relief issued via the in the $2 trillion CARES Act.
  • Passing a multi-year surface transportation reauthorization bill that addresses the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund before the current surface transportation authorization expires on September 30.

“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, our nation’s infrastructure was already in a crisis,” says K.N. “Guna” Gunalan, ASCE’s president. Emphasizing the critical need for increased funding, he adds, “Each American household was already losing at least $3,400 each year in disposable income due to poor and outdated roads, bridges, electric grid, water systems and more-systems that are critical to the public’s health, safety and welfare.”

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