Green New Deal Plan - Transportation Infrastructure

Bridges, Roads, Waterways, Ports

The following table is based on the American Society of Civil Engineer's Report Card on the Infrastructure. They present cost data for bridges, waterways, ports,roads, and aviation. These show how much more money needs to be spent than is currently being spent; the Green New Deal budget assumes that the Federal government will have to pick up the difference.

While most studies assume that aviation, roads, and shipping will grow at the same rates as in previous decades, the Green New Deal assumes that there may actually be a large contraction in these modes of transport. For instance, much car and truck traffic may instead be done via passenger and freight rail. We will assume that roads will be maintained for the next 20 years, but not expanded, so ASCE figures about $60 billion per year to fix roads and enhance them. Bridges should be fixed, whether the transportation system is centered on rail or on cars and trucks. The central economic program for the Green New Deal is to increase domestic manufacturing, which should mean that the level of cargo ship traffic into the U.S. could decline significantly. However, we assume that ports should be upgraded because, hopefully, any decrease in ships coming into the U.S. will be made up by a similar increase in ships carrying exports to other countries.

Air traffic will probably decline more than most studies assume, because much air traffic will be replaced by the Interstate High-Speed Rail System. However, we assume a conservative 4 billion per year to upgrade the airports, at least to implement the current air traffic control upgrades.

Transportation will have to move from being based on petroleum to being based on renewable electricity. However, it makes sense to at least maintain the current infrastructure while a new transportation system is being built. In the following table, we show those assumed cost levels.

Roads: 60 billion
Bridges: 13 billion
Ports: 5 billion
Aviation: 4 billion
Waterways: 1 billion

Total: 85 billion, rounded up