New Report Shows American Infrastructure Near-Failing, Larsen Pressures Congress, President to ‘get serious’ About Investment

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) is stepping up his call on federal lawmakers and the President to invest in the nation’s crumbling infrastructure following the release of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, which gave infrastructure in the United States’ a “D+”. In 2013, the United States received the same near-failing grade.

The quadrennial report evaluates aviation, bridges, dams, drinking water, energy, hazardous waste, inland water ways, levees, parks and recreation, ports, rail, roads, schools, solid waste, transit, and wastewater infrastructure throughout the country.

“The fates of American infrastructure and the American economy are intertwined, and the country’s infrastructure is on life support,” said Larsen, a senior Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. “The American economy cannot tap into its full potential without the efficient movement of goods and people. This report underscores the need for Congress and the President need to quit dragging their feet and get serious about robust infrastructure investments.” 

Larsen’s statement comes as President Trump pledged last week to work with the 115th Congress on a $1 trillion transportation and infrastructure plan.

Larsen recently reintroduced his Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery for Cities Underfunded Because of Size (TIGER CUBS) Act of 2017, which would set-aside 20 percent of the funds made available through the popular Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program for smaller and medium-sized cities like Anacortes, Arlington, Bothell, Edmonds, Ferndale, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Lynden, Mill Creek, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Mount Vernon, Mukilteo, and Sedro-Woolley.

Large cities and statewide projects receive the lion’s share of TIGER funding, with roughly a quarter of funds set aside for rural communities. By reserving 20 percent of TIGER funds for cities with populations between 10,000 and 50,000 people, Larsen’s legislation would give Washington’s small and mid-size cities a better shot at securing TIGER resources.

The TIGER program has boosted key projects in Washington’s 2nd District. In July of 2016, Larsen announced that the Port of Everett was awarded a $10,000,000 competitive grant through the TIGER program to help complete the South Terminal Modernization Project. And in 2015, the Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal project received $10 million through the TIGER program after Larsen wrote a letter of support.  

In 2015, Larsen helped pass a five-year transportation bill which secured a total of $3.5 billion in highway funding and $1.2 billion in transit funding to improve Washington state’s infrastructure.