Infrastructure and economic development


On Sept. 6, President Obama announced a proposal to spend $50 billion in the next year on roads, railroads and airport runways. This is a lot of money, but is just a drop in the bucket in relation to the size of the problem. In the three-county Portland metropolitan region alone, a 2008 Metro study indicates that we will need to spend at least $27 billion over the next 30 years to address infrastructure needs. Crumbling roads, failing bridges, fracturing pipes, and all the negative economic impacts that result, are what we look forward to unless the situation is effectively addressed. Studies have shown that investment in infrastructure goes hand-in-hand with economic development. The President’s announcement is a step in the right direction, but the magnitude of the problem means that government alone cannot provide the solution.

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