The new Obama Administration inherits some major challenges as it tackles improving America's infrastructure and transportation system, says Ken Eriksen, Informa Economics transportation specialist.
Eriksen spoke at the 12th Annual Farm Journal Forum in Washington D.C. on Tuesday.
The river system infrastructure, for example, is very antiquated, with the average age of locks and dams about 50 years old. While legislation has moved forward under the Water Resource and Development Act (WRDA), there are problems that need to be dealt with regarding how the funding is issued, says Eriksen.
Eriksen says Obama's plan to rebuild infrastructure as a way to get jobs back into the economy may help. However, the government is already behind in terms of general funding for infrastructure to the tune of about 40% annually, says Eriksen.
At the end of the day, the Obama administration must make it a priority, Eriksen says. "Transportation is a top issue for economic growth and our economic development in this country,” he adds.