In recent weeks, I have shared with you information on North Carolina’s mounting transportation needs that are exacerbated by a growing population, declining road and bridge safety, and greater traffic congestion. The fact is: North Carolina cannot wait to address this problem.
In his latest You Decide column, NC State University Economist Dr. Mike Walden poses the questions, “can infrastructure be built the old-fashioned way? And if new infrastructure isn’t built, do we all pay in some other way?” First, Dr. Walden examines the economic harm of an overly strained and unsafe infrastructure system. While each car owner faces a cost (about $1,700/year) in wasted time and money, “insufficient infrastructure can lead to a lack of jobs and income-earning opportunities.” Current funding through the gas tax is simply not getting the job done, so Walden examines different ways to pay for infrastructure, weighing out several pros and cons.
Ultimately, the answer is clear. Relying on old-fashioned infrastructure puts North Carolina at risk – it jeopardizes the safety of our citizens and it endangers our economy and ability to compete for jobs. North Carolina cannot afford to wait.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber
Save the date for the North Carolina Chamber’s Transportation and Infrastructure Summit in Greensboro, N.C. on April 9, 2015. If your organization is interested in sponsoring the event or purchasing a table, contact Sandy Harrell.