This story is from the 2016 Access 25: How Mobility is Reshaping the Globe. Explore more from this issue

Road Work Ahead: Addressing Worldwide Infrastructure Fatigue

Investing in infrastructure is critical to transport and trade.

April 2016

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In the U.S., you see it everywhere. Crumbling bridges. Failing sewer and water systems. Railroad bottlenecks caused by neglected tracks and century-old tunnels. But that public awareness is matched by an unwillingness to spend the billions needed to make repairs and reconstructions.

It’s not just a problem in the U.S. By some estimates, current global spending on public infrastructure is equivalent to 1995 levels.

Trade will continue to globalize. But if nations don’t begin to boost spending, particularly on transport, that trade and the prosperity it brings could become stuck in traffic.