December 12, 2012

Rendell urges creation of a commission on infrastructure needs

Edward G. Rendell, former Pennsylvania governor and co-chair of Building America’s Future, spoke at a POLITICO transportation summit in Washington, D.C., about the need for a commission to develop a long-term and strategic infrastructure investment plan.

Rendell was joined by other leaders in the transportation and infrastructure arena for a discussion about priorities for 2013 and a review of the year in transportation policy.

“Hurricane Sandy caused incredible devastation to some of the East Coast’s most vulnerable infrastructure,” said Rendell. “The rebuilding process is an opportunity to vastly improve our transportation systems and power grids to withstand harsher weather patterns and increase reliability for the millions of public transportation riders and utility customers.”

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Building America’s Future sent a letter to President Obama and Congressional leadership urging them to create a commission to develop a long-term, strategic infrastructure plan. The need to shore up our ailing infrastructure, electrical grid and public transportation systems has become even more urgent, as mentioned in the letter.

Last week Building America’s Future co-chair New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said of New York City’s efforts to recover from Sandy, “We can't just rebuild what was there and hope for the best. We have to build smarter and stronger and more sustainably.”

In 2012 there were several positive trends in transportation and infrastructure upon which the country can build, Rendell said. There are now more states with the authority to partner with the private sector where appropriate. Public-private partnerships and infrastructure banks can provide important financing assistance for certain types of infrastructure projects.

Additionally, Congress approved MAP-21 that laid the groundwork for much needed reforms to bring greater accountability and transparency to transportation policy as well as legislation to ensure that the nation’s air traffic control system is modernized.

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