🚗 🚙 Turn your trusty old car into trustworthy journalism Learn more

Time to pony up for road repair

Jeremy Hobson Aug 21, 2007
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Time to pony up for road repair

Jeremy Hobson Aug 21, 2007
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: President Bush will be in Minneapolis today for a briefing on the I-35 bridge collapse. Congress has already authorized $250 million to replace the bridge, and there are calls for more federal money for bridge repair around the country. The question is, where would the money come from? Jeremy Hobson reports.


Jeremy Hobson: The collapse earlier this month of the I-35 bridge has focused attention the on the nation’s ailing infrastructure.

Congress plans to take up the issue next month, says Minnesota Democrat Jim Oberstar, who chairs the House transportation and infrastructure committee.

Rep. Jim Oberstar: There are 73,000 structurally-deficient bridges on the national highway system. Those bridges need to be repaired.

Oberstar wants to raise the federal gas tax by 5 cents to pay for bridge upkeep, but a gas tax hike is a tough sell with President Bush and even some Democrats in Congress.

Tolls and sales of highways to private companies are the other big options for raising transportation funds. Randall O’Toole at the Cato Institute opposes a gas tax hike and favors more toll roads.

Randall O’Toole: A toll is a user fee, and I think user fees work better than taxes.

However the money is raised, estimates are it’ll cost billions to repair the nation’s bridges.

In Washington, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.