From GM’s “See the USA in your Chevrolet” to “Get your kicks on Route 66,” American’s have expressed their yearning for the open road. Certain holiday periods—Labor Day being the “end of summer” travel opportunity—are noted for crowded roads and urban traffic. As Congress heads back to Washington, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce makes its annual plea urging lawmakers to pass a comprehensive infrastructure bill and save Americans money and time on the roads.

As the Chamber says, millions of Americans travel Labor Day and they will be faced with terrible congestion, potholes that damage their cars, roadwork, and accidents. This is the reality every day for American drivers across the country, and the longer the wait for federal legislation to fix the crumbling infrastructure, the worse the state of roads, bridges, and highways will become, and the more Americans will have to pay.

American families deal with the state of our crumbling infrastructure in their day-to-day lives and face major roadblocks every year. Reports show that Americans lose $1,000 a year in wasted fuel costs due to congestion, families lose an additional $600 a year due to car damage caused by poor infrastructure, and the average American loses 54 hours stuck in traffic each year.

What’s more, according to the World Economic Forum, the United States’ overall infrastructure dips to 12th place with countries like Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, and France ranking ahead. Setting aside the congested highways many of us might experience this upcoming weekend, this underperformance, actually costs the country a whopping $160 billion annually in lost productivity to our deteriorating water systems, which experiences 240,000 water main breaks annually.

Congress and President Trump needs to move past the current status and agree on federal legislation to modernize and fix our nation’s infrastructure. Inaction costs more than action. The real question now is whether our lawmakers can work together to make something happen for the good of their citizens? One can dream…

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Peggy Smedley
Peggy Smedleyeditorial director