Panel Formed to Address Infrastructure Funding Issues
Photo courtesy of Thinkstock
Along with a Blue Ribbon Panel of esteemed industry leaders, Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman is discussing the potential infrastructure crisis in the United States and the funding for the major projects moving forward.
The panel will also evaluate the growing problems of aging infrastructure and railway congestion across America.
In addition to Boardman, the group also included Amtrak Board of Directors member Thomas Carper, founder of the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago Howard Learner and former chairman of the Railroads Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Jack Quinn.
Together, they are attempting to bring attention and focus to planning and investment, with the long-term goal of making the potential infrastructure crisis a national priority. Boardman released a statement about the need for fundamental changes to the way the country’s infrastructure is handled by the government:
“Amtrak is doing what it can, but the root of the problem is lack of funding needed to address the congestion challenge that contributes to these delays. Persistent underinvestment leads to congestion–and the lack of investment threatens our national economy…We don’t need to find a solution–we need to fund one…This is a fight our country needs us to win–it’s time for us to build.”
The panel suggests that infrastructure problems are at their worst in the New York and Chicago regions, and that companies like Amtrak—which owns the busy Northeast Corridor—depend on the investments made today to build for the future.
Amtrak has already completed construction on Phase I of the Hudson Yards Concrete Casing and has started construction on Phase II. Unfortunately, future work on other critical components of the Gateway Program remains unfunded.
In addition to concerns about funding, the Blue Ribbon Panel led by Boardman is looking to come up with recommendations to fix the Chicago rail gridlock that is causing major delays for passengers and freight shipments
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