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Governor Rendell Joins Colorado Leaders to Call for Action on Nation’s Deficient Roads, Bridges, Transit

Today Building America’s Future co-chair and former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell joined leaders from local government and the engineering and business communities at a policy forum co-hosted by Building America’s Future, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and the American Society of Civil Engineers.  The policy forum “Investing in Infrastructure Matters,” was convened to address local and national challenges in investing in our roads, bridges, and transit systems. The recent flooding that caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage and wiped out roads and bridges across Colorado only underscores the urgent need for the federal and state governments and the private sector to work together on critical investments. 

“In order to stay competitive in the 21st century economy we need a 21st century infrastructure. Instead of being scared off by the price tags associated with modernizing America’s critical transportation systems, we need our nation’s leadership to realize there is an even higher cost to inaction,” said Governor Rendell.

“Investments in our nation’s infrastructure have not kept pace with our economic needs. Colorado recognized long ago the need to solve these issues locally,” said Kelly J. Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber. “Colorado’s partnerships between the public and private sectors as well as innovative funding solutions have helped us deliver T-REX and FasTracks.”

“Infrastructure is the foundation of our economy and our quality of life. The American Society of Civil Engineers has unfortunately awarded that foundation a D+ in our quadrennial national infrastructure report card this year. This grade reflects our inability to build a sustainable economy, decreasing our GDP and leaving us less competitive in a global economy,” said Gregory E. DiLoreto, P.E., P.L.S, D.WRE, 2013 President of the American Society of Civil Engineers.  “Likewise, a few years ago, Colorado’s civil engineers gave Colorado’s infrastructure a C+. Just as with our national grade, a C+ shows that work must be done in the state unless Coloradoans want to have a C+ economy and a C+ quality of life.” 

Americans have been living off of previous generations’ investments in our highways, power grids, aviation system and more. Those systems have not been upgraded for decades, despite wear, tear and substantial population growth. Between 1990 and 2012, Colorado’s population grew by 57 percent and vehicle traffic increased by 71 percent, but investments in roads, bridges and other projects have not kept pace.

Congestion translates to lost time and money for commuters. Nationwide, traffic congestion costs American drivers $121 billion annually in wasted time and fuel. In Colorado, that equates to $913 per motorist. Gridlock and deteriorating roads drive up the prices of goods for people in Colorado and across the country.

Summary/Promote Copy: 

Today Building America’s Future co-chair and former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell joined leaders from local government and the engineering and business communities at a policy forum co-hosted by Building America’s Future, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and the American Society of Civil Engineers.  The policy forum “Investing in Infrastructure Matters,” was convened to address local and national challenges in investing in our roads, bridges, and transit systems. The recent flooding that caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage and wiped out roads and bridges across Colorado only underscores the urgent need for the federal and state governments and the private sector to work together on critical investments.