From THINK PROGRESS ECONOMY:
President Obama’s plan to kickstart the economy and put the American people back to work includes investing in the nation’s rapidly deteriorating infrastructure, which, as studies have shown, is in need of as much as $2 trillion in immediate investment just to bring it up to date. In the past, Republicans have agreed that infrastructure improvements are needed, but in the context of economic stimulus and in their effort to remain opposed to anything Obama offers, they have chosen to ignore the nation’s infrastructure and jobs crises. Unfortunately, that approach doesn’t mean either crisis will go away.
Republican leadership has continually blocked efforts by Obama and Congressional Democrats to invest in infrastructure improvements, and as a result, bridges and roadways in their states are crumbling. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, about 12 percent of the nation’s bridges are considered “structurally deficient,” the same rating given to the Minneapolis bridge that collapsed in 2007, killing 13 people.
Roughly another 12 percent are considered “functionally obsolete.” In four of the five states represented by Republican congressional leadership, the rate of structurally deficient or functionally obsolete bridges outpaces the national average.
OHIO: 27 percent of the bridges Speaker John Boehner’s home state of Ohio are either “structurally deficient or functionally obsolete,” while one-fourth of its roads are considered poor or mediocre. At the heart of the Midwest, Ohio’s share of the national highway system has 171 highway bridges that are structurally deficient. 10 of those bridges are located in Boehner’s own district.
KENTUCKY: More than one-third (34 percent) of the bridges in Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state are structurally deficient or obsolete [...]
Nearly one in five of Kentucky’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
VIRGINIA: In House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s home state, 26 percent of bridges are considered structurally deficient or obsolete [...] In Cantor’s congressional district, 11 national highway bridges are considered deficient.
ARIZONA: In Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl’s home state, 12 percent of the bridges are “structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.” [...] Indeed, a recent report found that the poor rural roads and bridges in Arizona, where 21 percent of roads are considered poor or mediocre, have earned the state the eighth highest rural traffic fatality rate in the nation.
CALIFORNIA: Home to House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, California is perhaps most in need of infrastructure improvement. Thirty percent of its bridges are “structurally deficient or fundamentally obsolete. [...] California ranks 19th in the nation for percentage of rural bridges that are structurally deficient, and two-thirds of its major roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
Even as roads and bridges in their states fall apart, Republicans remain opposed to Obama’s efforts to invest in improvement projects.