Manufacturing and Our Nation's Infrastructure

It was sixty years ago when President Eisenhower launched one of the most ambitious infrastructure undertakings in world history. Over the next forty years, the Interstate Highway System became the lifeblood of the American economy.  But for too long, our infrastructure was left neglected.  Some say our current infrastructure is in an alarming state of disrepair and in urgent need of investment.  President Trump’s plan to invest nearly a trillion dollars in our roads, bridges, rail, ports, waterways and airports comes at just the right time.  

 For manufacturers, if our infrastructure is left neglected, the ability to compete quickly comes to the forefront as an area of concern. Whether it be its ability to fulfill its supply chain needs or to quickly and efficiently deliver products to its customers, manufacturing companies are heavily reliant  on our nation’s highways, railways, aviation and seaports. 

 From 2016 to 2025, families will lose $3,400 every year because of deficient infrastructure, and by 2026, that cost will rise to a staggering $5,100 wasted every year.1

 Roads, Bridges & Transit - 65 percent of major roads in the United States are rated “less than good condition.”2  Bottlenecks and traffic congestion continues to cause delays. That takes a toll on manufacturers’ bottom lines through unreliable delivery times and increased fleet maintenance costs.

 Aviation – Aviation is vital for speed on delivery and to compete in the global economy.  Without improvements to aviation infrastructure, businesses are set to lose $258 billion by 2020. By 2040, those losses would balloon to $1.2 trillion.3

 Rail – Railroads help manufacturers transport imports and exports from the center of the country to marine and inland ports and everywhere in between. Rail lines move 43 percent of intercity freight and approximately one-third of U.S. exports.4

 Ports & Waterways - Along inland waterways, more than half of the locks that help ships more easily navigate rivers are more than half a century old.5   What’s more, 70 percent of locks and dams experienced an unscheduled delay or service interruption in 2015.6   And barges experience more than 50 service interruptions a day, delaying them for hours at a time.7

 The National Institute of Manufacturing reports that effective transportation systems enhance the quality of life for families and communities around the country. Safe and reliable roads, airports, waterways and railways better connect people to their friends and loved ones. Greater mobility gives workers better access to job opportunities and options for housing, health care, shopping and recreation.8  When businesses are able to transport goods more cheaply, consumers benefit from lower prices of household products. In short, transportation infrastructure boosts the quality of life, from rural areas to urban centers and every community in between.

 Investing in our nation’s infrastructure is a necessity to remain competitive and will help invigorate the American economy.

For more information, please contact Schneider Downs or visit the Our Thoughts On... blog.

1 American Society of Civil Engineers. Failure to Act: Closing the Infrastructure Investment Gap for America’s Economic Future. 2016.

 2  National Economic Council and the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. An Economic Analysis of Transportation Infrastructure Investment. July 2014.

 3 American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. “2015 AASHTO Bottom Line Report:Transportation Bottom Line.” 2015.

 4 American Society of Civil Engineers. “2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure Rail Conditions and Capacity.”

 5 American Society of Civil Engineers. “2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure: Inland Waterways.” 2013.

 6 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “Public Lock Availability Report.” 2015.

 7 American Society of Civil Engineers. Failure to Act: The Economic Impact of Current Investment Trends in Airports,Inland Waterways, and Marine Ports Infrastructure. 2015.

 8 TRIP. The Interstate Highway System Turns 60: Challenges to Its Ability to Continue to Save Lives, Time and Money. June 27, 2016.


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