It should come as a surprise to no one that America's road and highway infrastructure is in a pretty sorry state. It's something that we notice every day on our morning commutes and quietly swear at from behind the steering wheel, but it's a more serious issue than just messed-up wheels and potholes.
Thankfully, the US government is getting ready to throw a little bit of money at the problem in the form of federal Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary grants. How much money? Around $900 million.
These grants can be applied for and used by municipalities of all sizes, butmade it clear in a recent statement that a significant portion of the funding would go specifically toward improving infrastructure in rural areas.
"These BUILD Transportation grants will provide needed infrastructure investment to better connect rural and urban communities around our nation," Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement today.
Municipalities that apply for BUILD grants have to have very specific plans for the money for which they are asking. The BUILD grants have to be used to improve infrastructure condition, address public health and safety, stimulate economic growth or promote energy independence.
While that $900 million figure sounds like a ton of cash, it's barely a drop in the bucket for a problem that has been more or less ignored for decades. To truly bring America's road infrastructure back into a reasonable and safe condition would take many times that amount.