Infographic: America’s Failing Infrastructure

Posted by Content Coordinator on Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

America's Failing Infrastructure

America’s Failing Infrastructure

America’s greatest generation built the world’s greatest infrastructure network.


1950′s: Eisenhower Interstate Highway System[6]
Over 47,000 miles of interstates
Today:Close to 4 million miles of total roads
Enough to circle the Earth 160 times

1860′s: First intercontinental railroads constructed
Today:150,000 miles of mainline track
The busiest and largest rail system in the world

1950′s: Louisiana’s Lake Ponchetrain Bridge (24 miles) is the longest bridge in America completed.[1]
Today: 607,380 bridges

1979: the Eisenhower tunnel spans 1.7 miles through mountains west of Denver. At 11,000+ feet it is the highest point of the Interstate Highway System.[2]

1825: Erie Canal connects the great lakes to the Atlantic through NYC.[3]
1914: Panama Canal finished, cutting off 8,000 miles from the the NY to LA sea route.

April 6th 1776: defying British rule, all American colony ports are opened to international trade.[4]
Today: 360 commercial ports in the U.S. ship $1.73 million in goods, or 11% of total GDP [5]

1909: College Park Airport in Maryland is the oldest continually operating airport in the world. Founded by Wilbur Wright. [8]
Today: Over 640 million passengers and 19.6 billion pounds of shipped goods in 2013.[7]

But over time it’s failed to adapt.

BY 2010, America wasn’t even in the top ten for infrastructure competitiveness:
1.) Hong Kong
2.) Germany
3.) United Arab Emirates
4.) France
5.) Singapore
6.) Switzerland
7.) Netherlands
8.) United Kingdom x
9.) Canada
10.) Sweden

15.) United States

Which costs a lot, personally, and nationally.

Personally: Even with higher household earnings, we spend more money on transportation than other developed nations.
[% of household earnings spent on transportation]
America: 17.6%
Canada: 14%
EU: 13%
Japan: 12.5%

That’s $8,810 yearly per family![$50,054 x .176]

With 4.8 billion hours wasted in traffic jams in 2008.[9]
TO the tune of 3.9 billion gallons of gas.

Nationally: Freight bottlenecks and congestion cost about $200 billion[9]
Or 1.6% of the U.S. GDP in losses each year.

Chicago is the nations largest railroad center.
Due to congestion, it currently takes a freight train longer to travel through Chicago’s city limits than it takes for a train to travel from Chicago to L.A.

View Full Version ( America’s Failing Infrastructure

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.

Follow InfraUSA on Twitter Facebook YouTube Flickr


Show us your infra! Show us your infra!

Video, stills and tales. Share images of the Infra in your community that demands attention. Post your ideas about national Infra issues. Go ahead. Show Us Your Infra!  Upload and instantly share your message.

Polls Polls

Is the administration moving fast enough on Infra issues? Are Americans prepared to pay more taxes for repairs? Should job creation be the guiding determination? Vote now!


What do the experts think? This is where the nation's public policy organizations, trade associations and think tanks weigh in with analysis on Infra issues. Tell them what you think.  Ask questions.  Share a different view.


The Infra Blog offers cutting edge perspective on a broad spectrum of Infra topics. Frequent updates and provocative posts highlight hot button topics -- essential ingredients of a national Infra dialogue.