Your Drive to Work Just Got Smoother, Maybe

On February 17, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The bill includes $111 billion for infrastructure projects. The president has used the proposal of these shovel-ready projects to help sell his economic stimulus package. While $111 billion can pave miles of roads and build numerous bridges, will this ensure you a smooth drive to work? Not so fast.

Chicago area street with potholes

A street in the Chicago area shows how the winter weather damages roads, meaning they will always need fixed.

According to the 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure produced from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the nation’s infrastructure is graded a D and needs a lot more than $111 billion to fix it. They have estimated that it would take $2.2 trillion spent over the next five years to bring the infrastructure up to par. The report states that in general, the nation’s infrastructure is not meeting the current demands and in some cases is unsafe. Maintenance is also becoming an issue. The report card can be viewed here.

With this increase in spending, you’re sure to see more orange barrels and detours this summer no matter where you go, but when the stimulus money is gone, don’t expect a perfect ride.

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