tv U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hosts Infrastructure Investment Discussion Part 3 CSPAN February 12, 2019 6:30pm-7:28pm EST
career, representative gonzales earned his mba at stanford business school. he is the first latino elected to ohio's congressional delegation. representative carol miller served over a decade in the statehouse before voters in west virginia's there district elected her to congress. politics runs in her family. she is the daughter of former congressman samuel divine whose seat would later be filled by future ohio governor in 2016 presidential candidate john casey. congressman michael guest was a local prosecutor in mississippi for nearly 25 years. the last decade as district attorney before his election to the house. he is also a sunday school teacher at his local baptist church. representative david trump and his brother opened a small liquor store in delaware in the early 1990s. the company eventually moved its headquarters to maryland and has expanded to become the largest independent fine wine retailer in the country.
and washington's eighth district elected representative kim schreier, a pediatrician and the only female doctor in congress. new congress, new leaders. watch it all on c-span. next, the need for federal investment in infrastructure. this panel from the u.s. chamber of commerce focuses on congestion on the nation's most credit roadways. >> please welcome scott patterson executive director and ceo of the national governor's association. >> thank you very much. i am scott patterson. on behalf of the nation's governors i'm delighted and i think the chamber of commerce for inviting me here. i think there are few issues right now as important as infrastructure. let me give you a little bit of a view from the states and the governors across the nation's. i think the most important
message i want to deliver to you is that despite the political polarization that we see in this station, on issues like infrastructure, openers have really shown you can reach across the aisle and make deals and solve problems. the governors of this nation are calling on the leaders here in washington d.c. to take -- washington, d.c. to take that same pragmatic bipartisan approach on the issue of addressing our critical infrastructure needs. governors have really stepped up to deal with these critical infrastructure issues. i would like to use the example of state and local governments across the nation year after year issuing millions, tens of billions, of dollars in bonds for all kinds of infrastructure needs, such as water and roads and transit and technology
infrastructure. in fact, to show they have stepped up to the plate, almost 1.5% of gdp spending is state and local infrastructure spending. in contrast, sadly, at the federal level, it is only .1% non-defense spending on infrastructure. again, the states have really stepped up under the leadership of the governors to deal with infrastructure needs. and they call on the federal government to do the very same thing. one of the other things that states have done, frankly, a great political risk, in some cases, is race motor fuel taxes. 26 states in 5 years, many of them led by republicans, have recognized the need to divide additional funds for infrastructure. and they chose in this case and in many cases a fuel tax
increase. now the other thing that governors are looking at more is any way to think about innovative financing that might truly work to improve the infrastructure in their state. it might be in the areas of transit, and a great example is across the district line here in maryland. governor hogan who is coming in as our chair this summer, governor hogan of maryland is very excited about the purple line and the innovative public- private partnership that is going on to finance that transit. but, you see so many examples across the nation. many, many interesting and exciting opportunities and activities. you have bridge replacement programs going on in places like nebraska, pennsylvania, basically across the country. you have the example, if you probably followed in some of the media, of in seattle,
getting rid of what i would term the ugly viaduct highway that marred the view looking at the beautiful water there in seattle and actually holding tunnels. they have had them from japan. the huge tunnel boring apparatus to try to make that happen. this is happening all of the country. state and local governments doing what they can to try to improve infrastructure. but there is a lot more to do. and we just issued a statement yesterday for example that said the nation's governors, now is the time for action on infrastructure. in addition to that, governor tim walz, the newly elected minnesota governor is testifying on thursday and i love the subject of his testimony, it says it all. the cost of doing nothing. why investing in our nation's
infrastructure cannot wait. and the governors of the nation agree with that. they say we cannot wait any longer. we want to do more at the state and local level. we have to have additional federal resources. and an augmentation of the investment from the federal government. what are governors asking for? they are asking for flexibility . it is obviously very key. they are asking for the administration to continue to provide streamlining of approval processes so they can move quicker and frankly, put in infrastructure that is cheaper, that does not take years of bureaucratic delays. and most important lee, the states and local government, -- and most importantly, the states and local agencies are asking for more participation. there is no question, and we all know in this room, and will feel strongly, a lot has to be done in this nation on
infrastructure. and we need to improve it, maintain it, and we need to do it for the health and safety of our citizens and also very critically important, the modernization of our transportation network is so critical for our economic development. that is always the number one issue, the jobs in our states, the governors focus a lot on. we have to move forward, we have to invest in our future, and the states and local governments are working as much as they can within the resource constraints they have to try to do with these issues and we ask for further partnership further action at the national level, at the federal level, to make sure we can move forward and invest in the infrastructure that this nation needs throughout the 21st century to continue our great economy and
provide for the health and safety of our nation's people. thank you very much. i appreciate being here. >> [ applause ] >> and now, thomas smith, executive director of the american society of civil engineers. >> greetings, good afternoon everybody. thank you for having me here today to talk about the lost economic opportunities due to inadequate infrastructure spending. i noticed tom donahue wrote yesterday a piece about infrastructure. he said you don't need a civil engineer to tell you about the state of our infrastructure. but, in case there is any doubt amongst anybody, we put together a pool of experts who represent 150,000 civil engineers across the world. there were folks who are
designing, building, operating, maintaining, and inspecting our nation's infrastructure. so one of the things we have done is analyze infrastructure in the united states. let's see if i can get a clicker. perfect. thank you. we will talk a little about some of the analysis that afc has done over the years. we put together a pool of experts that analyze the nation's infrastructure looking at bridges, levies, transits, ports, rail, etc. and trying to give an honest assessment from the people who design, operate, build and maintain and inspect infrastructure so you can see what the experts think about our infrastructure after analyzing data. we put together 30 experts to evaluate infrastructure. this is the national infrastructure report card. you can see the grades are not something you would be proud of for your kids. we also do state report cards. we just released yesterday a report card in north dakota.
we have done about 1 per month over the past year. we have a lot more lined up. we have a lot of different state report cards and a lot of that has led to, you have heard representative defazio talking earlier about increases in gas taxes over the last 5 years or so. we have had several states increased asked taxes recognizing we need to invest in our infrastructure. we have had progress there. we have is the need to make sure we are having progress at the national level. first, a brief recap, as you can see from the side, this is really an uphill battle that we face. it is becoming as you heard earlier a crisis. it is becoming critical at this point for our country and for our global economy. the infrastructure report card examines current infrastructure needs and makes recommendations to raise funds. these are the latest results. we have had some improvement since 4 years, the 2013 report card was released. you can see a number have gone
down. transit is an area of particular concern, the lowest grade you see there, a d-. you can see 12 of the 16 grades are in the d range. d means poor and it wrist. it recognizes that a lot of our infrastructure is near the end of its useful life. so, let's talk a little bit about some of the findings from the 2017 report card. they show the challenges america's infrastructure faces, the impact on business. america's roads are autocratic, frequently in poor condition, chronically underfunded, becoming dangerous. i was just in orlando last week and central florida. we had the department of transportation employees speaking to us. we were talking about 2 pedestrians per week killed in that central area of central florida. 2 cyclists are killed per month. not that we have all the, you look at traffic fatality, in a
country, 100 per day. not that all of that is a function of infrastructure. certainly our infrastructure can be part of the solution for that. we had the f innovation to solve these issues. when you look at pedestrians, cyclists him a folks in vehicles, there are a lot of solutions to that. we need to unleash the innovation that we have. that 2 out of every 5 miles of america's urban infrastructure is congested. traffic delays caused the country $160 billion in wasted time and fuel in 2014 alone. 1 of every 5 hire miles of highway pavement is in bad condition. there is a backlog of rehab needs. you have also seen where america's is suspended 48 hours per year sitting in traffic. it is no surprise to many of us when you see the congestion we are dealing with. drinking water. that is delivered via about 1 million miles of pipe across the country.
many of the pipes were laid in the early and mid 20th century. there is a lifespan a 75-100 years. they are estimated at 240,000 water line breaks per year. every couple or three minutes in this country we have water line breaks. you can see when that happens it has major impact on the system. you may recall of years ago we had a water line break of a 61- year-old line in washington, d.c. at shutdown lines in the metro. there is a major impact on the roadway system. it has a permeating impact when you look at the system of our infrastructure. every day we have nearly 6 billion gallons of treated water being lost due to leaking pipes. 188 million trips are taken each day across structurally deficient bridges. the good news is all levels of government are making an effort to reduce structurally deficient bridges in the u.s. that require significant maintenance, rehabilitation and replacement. nationwide we still have 8.9% of our bridges still
structurally deficient. these are structures sometimes restricted for truck and nebulous traffic, meaning freight must find alternative routes. it wastes time and money. in addition to looking at our nation's infrastructure every 4 years there is investment needed in each infrastructure category to maintain a state of good repair. we categorize that as a blue grade. these numbers are daunting as you look at the slide. the most recent analysis revealed the u.s. needs to spend $4.5 trillion by 2025 to get infrastructure in acceptable condition and working order. in other words get back to the b grade. the good news is with federal state and local investment along with private dollars, we're spending two dollars.5 trillion over the same time period. the bad news is we have a two dollars trillion gap. you heard representative presented of defazio talk about it. the u.s. has paid half of its infrastructure built for some time. it is file to close the gap. there are rising costs and
feeling business productivity and plummeting gdp and lost jobs. reduces disposable income for every american. what are the economic consequences of letting the gap continue to grow. it goes over time. if you don't change the oil in your car, or replace the roof on your home, ultimately, if you don't maintain your infrastructure, the price keeps going up. how does that impact our economy. we quantify poor infrastructure drag on the economy in a report series we call the years to act. we had a number of economists evaluating this with us. the report demonstrates how the persistent for you to invest in our aging infrastructure impacts economy including gdp, jobs, persons with disposable income and business sales. leaky pipes, congested roads, occasional grid backlog, and blackout our inconvenience. they also cost us the american economy will dollars and cents.
this report the failure to act shows the business cost and therefore how prices will increase to surface transportation systems as they worsen. it forces airports and waterways to become outdated or congested. if water and waste water and electricity infrastructure systems deteriorate or don't keep up with changing demand. what is poor infrastructure costing us in business sales? the business rises. the loss of business sales which is over $7 trillion by 2025. the custody was gdp if the investment gap is not addressed throughout the infrastructure sectors by 2025, the economy is expected to lose almost $4 trillion in gdp, the size of germany's krista messick product. lost jobs due to lost -- germany's gross domestic product. -- this is put at risk in 2025. workers earn lower wages. in the long-term many higher-
paying jobs in technology and other leading sectors will be replaced by jobs that fulfill needs brought on by the inefficiencies of deteriorating infrastructure. i think this is an important slide when you are trying to express really what this boils down to. this is what it costs the american family already. $3400 in disposable income each year, about 9 dollars -- $9 pro day as a result of failure to invest in and maintain our infrastructure. i think this is, when you look at this, there is talk about what are the solutions. yet to look at what is the cost of doing nothing? this is what we are paying now. it is the hidden tax, the tax all of us in the room are paying today. that is from sitting in traffic, added costs of goods and services, inefficiencies in the system. if you compare this to other countries, who are investing in their infrastructure, they do not pay the hidden tax.
they are investing, paying funds to invest in the infrastructure so they get a return on investment by more jobs, better economy, and better quality of life. also by the way it impacts our human health. when we talk about healthcare, much of our infrastructure is tied to our health, when you talk about drinking water and transportation systems and sitting in traffic, the stress, redbridge that it causes, in addition to the drain on our economy. remember this number. $3400 per family per year. that is what we are paying. it is the hidden tax we continue to pay. we are getting nothing for it. how do we solve this? the solution is threefold in our view. first, we need investment. if we will be serious about changing this liturgy grade, the unacceptable grade, we need to have infrastructure that is fit for the 21st century. we need specific steps to be taken with increased long-term sustainable investment.
to close the two dollars trillion gap over a ten-year period, to meet future needs, and restore global competitive advantage, we must increase investment from all levels of government and the private sector from 2.5% of gdp to 3.5% of gdp. we know other countries -- and the council on foreign relations talked about it -- our peer countries are spending twice that. we are at 2.5% of gdp. we need to double that. at a minimum we need to go to 3.5% of gdp. we also believe we need to fix the highway trust fund including the $.25 increase in the federal gas tax. we need to indexing for inflation. it has not increased since 1993. you have her talk about that today. that is the easiest short-term solution to address the problem. we should do that immediately.
doing nothing. the other thing i will mention on being prepared for the future is we need resilience and sustainability when we look at infrastructure. look at some of the disasters we have had. look at michael, florence, irma, maria, hardy, look at the huge amount of cost we have had as a result. look at the nor'easter's, look at the polar vortex. we have all these things that have come ultimately could have a huge cost on our infrastructure but the more we invest upfront, it will save us in the long run so we have to be more proactive and stop being so reactive as a society. in many ways, this will require a culture change for us as americans to start valuing the infrastructure that provides or quality of life and provides life itself when you look at our clean water, waste disposal, hazardous waste, solid waste, etc. i do not have to tell folks in the room, poor infrastructure affects business productivity as well as every sector and
region in united states. when one part of the infrastructure fails, the impact can be spread throughout the system and the economy. the u.s. economy relies on low transportation costs, reliable delivery of clean water and electricity. on the flipside, our infrastructure can truly propel our economy growth in this country. our friends at the business roundtable just released findings that every dollar invested infrastructure results and $3.70 in economic growth over the next 20 years. recent polling also shows that you look at the political poll that was done with harvard's health school, 79% of republicans, democrats and americans support greater investment in infrastructure. this is truly a bipartisan issue. american citizens recognize it. most of our legislators really do recognize it and we have solutions. we just need to have some courage and bold leadership to implement these solutions. we are looking forward to working with the administration and congress to start with infrastructure. this legislative session, we want to thank the u.s. chamber
which is devoted a full day here to infrastructure among the many pressing issues facing their members. the fact that we are all gathered here today underscores that business recognizes we need modern reliable infrastructure to keep america competitive and prosperous. all-americans share a role in renewing the nation's infrastructure beginning with learning about appreciating infrastructure all around them. advocating for long-term investment. the infrastructure around us is sometimes, you learn and understand the issues with the transportation infrastructure that some of our infrastructure is out of sight and sometimes unfortunately out of mind. you don't really appreciate it until it disappears on you. when you have a water line break, you really do appreciate infrastructure. it is necessary for life itself. when you have the metro shut down for a day, you really do appreciate your transit. so i think we need to be more proactive and recognize this before we have problems. we need to all spread the word
and appreciate the infrastructure that we have come advocating for long-term investment, visionary leadership, thoughtful planning, preparation for the future. we truly cannot afford not to. we cannot continue to pay a hidden tax and watch the hidden tax continue to grow year after year after year. so we look forward to working with you all to continue to make infrastructure a priority across the country and at the federal level, and i see i have gotten maybe three minutes so if there are any questions, i would be glad to deferred those to my assistance. i would let you take any questions if anybody has them. yes? >> hello. would you mind talking a bit more about safety concerns for infrastructure as we are seeing more and more aged bridges and roads that are not being
updated? >> sure. when you talk about bridges and roads, in this country, we have about 37,000 deaths on our roads annually so it is about 100 a day. again, a lot of that is you have people who are distracting driving, under the influence driving, etc. but certainly being smart about how we are timing our traffic lights and utilizing data and having more innovative approaches, we had this. as we get more connected and autonomous vehicles as moved to that, i think the connected vehicles using infrastructure that is connected to vehicles, you'll see some improvements. so that is one of the things where we have a vision zero that we have been promoted to really reduce the number of fatalities on our roadways. but all of these things require investment. i really do think we have a lot
of innovation, a lot of innovative technologies that we need to unleash as a country and again, you can look at what is happening in other countries. you heard the reference if you look at infrastructure rankings, world economic forum, we are not even in the top five in infrastructure. we do not have our airports in the top 25 ranked in the world. we really have a long way to go and we can learn a lot from innovative technologies that we could be utilizing. yes? >> on the infrastructure, i see transit is a d minus. why do you think that is? what are the causes of transit
being a d minus? >> good question. transit is particularly one that is near and dear to my heart. i took transit over here from virginia and i write it every opportunity because i think it is a sustainable solution and is an efficient effective way to move people. in our country, we are comparing 10.5 billion trips in 2015, adding new lines and systems every year that we have overdue maintenance. we have underinvestment. it has never been clear and you have seen again or even in the metro system here in washington dc, despite increasing demand come our transit systems have been chronically underfunded, resulting in aging infrastructure and a $90 billion rehabilitation backlog. so ultimately, we just haven't invested in maintaining our transit at the level that we need to pick it is important. it is a sustainable way of moving people. so i think while some communities are investing in it, i think there are some good things happening if you look at los angeles for example, we still have a long way to go and
our systems, right now, inadequate maintenance and investments. i see i have expired my time and i want to thank everybody again for the opportunity to be with you and i appreciate all of your support as we look to solve this critical issue for our nation's infrastructure. thank you. >> [ applause ]. >> and now kirk, senior vice president. >> good afternoon. dead silence. good afternoon everybody. >> good afternoon. >> there we go. it is great to be with you all. thank you for the invitation to be here. i am with econo light. we are a traffic management company but prior to that for most of my career, i was employee of the michigan department of transportation and the last 13 years as the director. i had the privilege to be on
the study commission for the national academy of sciences on the future of the interstate. we are going to talk specifically about one piece of one assets. that is just the interstate. so those of you that are used to writing on u.s. one, u.s. 101, we are not talking about that. we are talking about interstates. i want to put your mind in the right spot, interstate only. it was an absolutely fantastic opportunity to be involved with that committee and i know there is a number of participants that are in the room as well. thank you for that a couple year-long effort to get here. i think there is a hard copy. i don't know if they are at your desk or they are out in the back. i would encourage you to pick one up. there is a lot more information in here or in their than what i
am going to cover in the next 25 minutes or so. and lots of details on recommendations. so here is the committee members. committee members were broad- based across the country from east coast to west coast, north to south. occupations and levels of interest. state government, federal, -- federal experience, local experience, highways, transit, advocacy groups, and researchers and policymakers as well. here is a number of just the logos of some of the 100 different companies that came in front of this committee and offered a testimony and an opinion as to what they thought the future of the interstate should involve. you will notice some very tried and true names on their, you will notice new ones as well.
i'm sure there are a couple of logos that you do not even recognize on their as well. but the interstate system, pretty much planned in the 30s, authorized in the 40s, struggled to get funding in the 50s, built mostly in the 60s through the 80s. one misnomer that happens across the country, and i bumped into it all the time in my prior job is this interstate system is owned by the state. it was built cooperatively between the state and the federal government. it was national in scope, it had a great vision from a national level, but it was implemented state-by-state. so when we talk about the ability to do things consistently and while everybody is going to do their own thing, we have a perfect example of how that can be done by 50 states working together in partnership with the federal government to deliver a system that looks and feels the same
from east to west and north to south. that regional system now involves 49,000 miles of roadways, 57,000 bridges, and while that makes up about 1% of all of the miles of roadways in the country, it carries 25% of all the vehicle miles traveled on a daily and annual basis. what is interesting is the current system closely resembles what was originally sketched out in the early 1950s. some modifications sure, there is some good things and bad things and the committee really dove into all of those. >> much since its inception, a lot has changed. originally envisioned to serve longer distance travel and national defense, today it serves both local and long-
distance travel, greatly expanded truck traffic and relatively few demands for national defense. and the consequence of congestion on the interstate occurs in and around expanding metropolitan areas. the interstate systems future despite its critical role in the economy and society is threatened by persistent and growing backlog of physical and operational deficiencies and by a number of large and looming challenges. many interstate highway segments are more than 50 years old. subject to much heavier traffic than anticipated and operating well beyond their design life. and many haven't gone, undergone any form of reconstruction or major upgrades. these aging and heavily used segments are poorly equipped to accommodate even the modest projections of future traffic growth, much less the magnitude of the growth that we
experienced in the last 50 years. the committee identified a series of challenges both short- term and long-term that really confronts the interstate. and these include just rebuilding its existing systems, the bridges, the pavements, the other assets, before they become unserviceable and have to be taken out of service. and other challenges meeting the demands of more traffic capacity and active traffic management. what does that mean? using technology to make it smarter. it means using the electronics along the roadway, those of you in the area would recognize that in the form of the changeable message signs, the changeable lanes, and the toll systems that are variable toll
rates as well. >> the system needs to improve safety as it increases the throughput. and it has to adapt to the vehicle technologies. coming from a michigan, i am very keen to the vehicle technology that they come and they go. frankly, i see a lot of them in my neighborhood roads. what is interesting is the size and shape of those vehicles are significantly different than they were when the interstate was originally designed and thought of and put forward. how those vehicles handle, how they react are much different. how they are going forward even significantly more different. any of you that have a vehicle that is less than three or four years old that has the active safety features on it, you will know exactly what i mean.
the technology in the vehicles is growing exponentially, making them much safer but also making them much more adaptive to connections to infrastructure and potentially sharing information across the vehicle fleets. so the committee's approach, congress asked us to look out 50 years. i would like to ask all of you, put your self back 50 years ago and imagine what the interstate system would look like today. and remember, somewhere along the line, somebody is going to invent a cell phone and then a smart phone. so just think about what that task is projecting 50 years forward. the committee thought long and hard on that, and they really came to a focus of 20 years. they said okay, and 20 years, there is a lot less uncertainty. they technology is going to
change, yes, but the adoption prior to 20/40 is still going to be manageable. what we looked at was that 20 year period, the next four reauthorization cycles is going to set the foundation for the remaining 30. so we do not start to get this right now, the 50 years is in danger. that is one of the reasons that we focus specifically on 20. 20 is what has to happen now. it is too easy to say that is 30 years from now or 40 years from now. we have to start thinking about this as the foundation. >> so if we look at vehicle miles traveled, and those of you that need continuing ed credits, maybe we can get credit for this presentation. there is a chart in there so we can turn into an accrediting board. here's the vehicle miles traveled back to 1985.
you can see the dip that happened in the 2008 recession. coming out of the recession, a kicked right back up again following on the same trajectory. so the committee looked at that and said well, we could take a high bmt approach and then everybody will blast that and say that is not going to happen. we could take a low one and that would say that is not realistic. or we could take one in the middle. we said all right, we will use all three. so you are going to see those come back out here in just a minute. so the findings says that the current level of funding is not sufficient. i can tell by your faces, you are all shocked. okay. did you hear what i said? funding is not sufficient to maintain the interstate system going forward and if you look at these four charts there, that is where those bmt levels come in so the one on the left, that is our current spending
level. you can see it is in the 20-$25 million range. you can see what happens with modest bmt growth. that number goes to 46 and on up to 69 or 70 if you have a rapid growth. so if you just look at what is ahead of us, what we currently have is not going to make the difference. so the committee came up with a blueprint. there is 10 recommendations. they are all in that book i would encourage you to get it. it goes into a lot more detail. i'm going to focus on just a couple of them. the first one which is frankly the biggest one is that there has to be a national realization that the interstate highway system is a critical component to the u.s. economy
and the mobility of the people and goods in the country. and number two, there has to be federal leadership. we cannot leave this to 50 individual states to do. now coming to you, me saying that as a 30+ year state employee who fights very viciously for states rights, this is one that is absolutely essential. we have to have the partnership between the federal government and the state government unified in a unified vision to make this happen. so here is a couple of specific ones. this first one goes into much greater detail. this one, we ask congress to create an interstate highway system renewal and modernization program or ramp. everybody has to have some sort of catchy phrase. it is the ramp program.
the ramp program will be modeled after the original interstate highway construction program. it would be pursued without sacrificing the normal ongoing maintenance and repair. so we cannot say all right, we are just going to rebuild this and forget about maintaining it. and asset management approach says you cannot do that. you have to maintain while you have while you rebuild at the same time. the focus is on reconstructing and adding physical capacity and operations management capacities and capabilities, preparing for automation, and increasing the system's resilience. we have seen that time and time again where different extreme events, weather events have caused problems across the country with the interstate system. as i said before, this would reinforce the traditional state federal partnership. it would institute a funding share similar to the original construction program which was
90% federal, 10% states. it said if this is important, that is where we should put our money. the federal government should be committed to finishing it. start to finish. we have got to have a commitment that has to last longer than one reauthorization cycle or one session of congress. we have to as a nation commits to rebuilding this and commit to seeing it through till the end. and in the end, we also need new standards for systems uniformity and safety for the changing technologies and for the changing climate conditions as well. >> and then, congress should also prepare for the need to employee new, federal, and state funding mechanisms. i will go into that in just a minute. the committee really came down,
it needs to be user fee based. if you use it, you get services from it, and that is how it ought to be -- we need to keep with that same system. so for the ramp investments, as the near-term step, we suggested that congress should increase the existing revenue streams they already have meaning the motor fuel tax. and make that level commensurate to what it is going to take to fund this reconstruction and modernization program. it needs to be adjusted for inflation and for vehicle fuel economy. i can tell you specifically from the state of michigan as i was the d.o.t. director, the volume of fuel consumed peak in about 2005 and it has been dropping since. if your revenue is based on the conception of motor fuels and that is the same cents per
gallon, inflation is eating into it very very quickly. the same thing is happening across the country. further recommendations. congress should lift the band on tolling on existing general- purpose interstate highways. there is a whole big session there about tolling but by and large, we have got to unleash the potential to the states. it is still going to be a local issue about whether they can get implemented or not, having served as the d.o.t. director for 13 years, i can tell you that is no easy feat. just by doing it doesn't mean it is going to happen. i will guarantee that there will be places in the country that they will be off for an all in. there will be other places that it will be a very very strong battle. now that moves locally. but right now, that is not even an option that is on the table. and if there are tools that are assessed, the committee said we
also have to make sure that they are not punitive. if you have to look at the people that are using it and make sure that there are other viable methods and ways for mobility of people instead of paying a very very high toll rate. so there is other options that have to be looked at as well. there was a significant component about rightsizing. rightsizing was chosen for a very specific. and needs to be larger or right size could mean it needs to be smaller. it needs to happen with some specific criteria related to the whole system as itself. so is there system conductivity? if you just happen to take out one piece, what have you done to the system? that might make a very strong sense locally but it may not make sense for the system. again, we're talking about the
interstate system only. there has to be access to the growing centers of population and business. there has to be system resilience and redundancy. the last thing we want to do is take a piece out and now we made a critical infrastructure link that is vulnerable as well. and then, we still need to have responsiveness to the national defense needs. there is five other recommendations, and i don't mean to say that these are the lesser five. it is just those, the first ones were probably the biggest heaviest lift and the ones of most interest to this group. one of the pieces that really came through all of this, and i'm sure many of you would say well can't we just model this and don't we just kind of know what the committee found out was with all the modeling techniques that we have, they are not robust enough for us to
have a real strong national projected model of what is going to happen, and the committee said we need to fix that. we have got a whole bunch of independent 50 little systems but not one that is robust enough to handle a task that we were just, that the committee was charged with. >> the system certainly needs to have standards for new technology. we can't have technology that works in the state of michigan and doesn't work in the state of missouri. systems that work in florida that don't work in texas. there has to be a standard for technology adoption as well across the board. so if we look in the end, the ramp program would restore that vision for the interstate system. the vision that we had in 1950 that said we need to get from
here to here and we cannot take a week to get there. we need to restore the nation's most profitable, most valuable infrastructure asset as the interstate highway system. we need to reinforce that partnership between state government and federal government. we need to continue to reinforce that reliance on user fees, and we have to use the next 20 years as the foundation for the next 30 for the next generation of transportation systems that are to come. so with that, i have got a few minutes and i would be happy to take any questions that you all might have. again, the full report, if it is not in front of you, it is out there and i would encourage you to a please take a copy and thoroughly digested. anybody have a question?
>> kirk, you referred to the fact that the growth of the local use and the local role of the interstate system was certainly not fully anticipated and was one of the unintended consequences. the reality is that in metropolitan regions like this one, like the ones who are experiencing through your career, the interstate highway system has become probably predominantly an essential element of metropolitan accessibility, metropolitan mobility. i wonder, it is difficult really, obviously the politics make it difficult with this battle between rural and urban areas which in many ways it is sharper today than it has ever been, but nonetheless, one would think that the priority
of investment really needs to be on the interstate system and metropolitan regions. i wondered if you either in terms of your own experience and also the work of the special committee cr be could speak about this and i wondered if you could tell us a little bit more about that. >> let me speak first from my own professional experience. that is the easiest instead of talking for 12 other people. there are many places in this country i experienced it directly where the interstate is now become a main street and people use it. i have seen them. they get on at one end and off at the next because they are avoiding three streetlights or whatever congestion is downtown and frankly, that is not what it was designed for. through what kind of pressures over the years, additional exits and entrances have been
added. they degrade the whole system. so when you get to the urban areas, there is solutions that can keep some things moving. i see them in california in the form of ramp metering. you can use technologies. there are other places where those technologies won't work because there is just no physical space to do that. so you end up with a balance. speaking just from the interstate perspective of how do you walk that fine line between making the system flow really fast and moving commerce from one commerce center to another commerce center and at the same time telling somebody locally, really do not get on here because this is for long- distance travel. i don't know how we would, we would like that if anybody told us don't get on here if you are only going to exits. i think that is going to be, that is reality, and i think we have to live with that fact that that is what is there, that is how it is being used.
it may be one of the unintended consequences but it is a consequence nonetheless and we have to figure out how to deal with it. it is that balance between the urban areas, the urban reconstructions and the rural reconstructions israel. we went through iteration after iteration after iteration trying to come up with a number because those costs vary so much. you get to those big urban areas, there is no space to go. there is other opportunities, and that is where the committee looked and said are there other opportunities to get some of the commuters off of that and onto a local transit network somewhere else that may be helps take the congestion down so that the three traffic can move forward? frankly, i think that is what the balance really brought forward. it needs a more multimodal approach that says maybe investment outside will help the congestion inside. roundabout answer to her
question. -- to your question. another question? >> yes. the ramp, how is it going to, how can we get the message out? in other words, how can we get it out with federal, state, and local governments? >> that is a great question. i would say first of all, make sure you take a copy or two with you. then read it, understand it, and then i would ask you, everybody in this room gets the larger picture. you are all in position that you can think very broadly, and i would encourage you to think broadly. whatever silo you happen to sit in, take yourself up a little bit and look at this broadly,
and say here is what this means to us as americans. that is what has to happen because this is happening in other countries. we can either figure this out or we can let the economy just get strangled and then we can wring our hands in 20 years and go wow maybe we should have done something. i would encourage you all to think about what those recommendations are and think about what role can you have? how can you help advocate for that? how can you help portray the fact that our nations crown jewel from a transportation perspective is in need of significant repair. if we don't do it, it is going to be like tossing that jewel on the ground and just watching it get crushed. i think understand what it says, understand what it means for us as a country, then
whatever group you are intimate whatever company you are in, you have to talk about that larger scale. then if you are interacting as elected officials, federal, state, you need to have that conversation. i can tell you right now, and i will give you a specific example, the state of michigan over my 10 years, 13 years, a biggest chunk of our budget went to just maintaining the interstate system which was at the expense of everything else just trying to hold it together. in total, the states probably rebuilt over 20% of those roadways already. some states haven't rebuilt any. this is an expensive endeavor that hasn't been looked at. if you happen to be in a state that hasn't looked at that yet, it is going to be a huge expense. state government has to understand this as well and
there has to be support at the federal level from the state level to the federal level that says you have got to fix this. you have got to address this national issue. thanks. one last question? thank you all very much. >> [ applause ]. >> executives with t-mobile and sprint will testify wednesday about the proposed merger before a joint house hearing. the proposed deal would join the third and fourth largest u.s. mobile carriers. you can watch live coverage of the hearing at 10 am eastern on a train to, c-span.org or listen live with the cspan radio app . >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, cspan was created as a public service by america's cable television company and