Build a first-world infrastructure to give the People of this country clean air and effective water systems, roads, bridges, tunnels and rail.

There is good and bad debt. Debt that would increase the effectiveness of our economy is worth the long and short-term cost. A massive restructuring of our infrastructure is overdue and needed. We need to borrow to invest our way out of this current third world system and propel ourselves into a first-class, coast to coast, infrastructure, including clean and effective water systems, roads, bridges, tunnels and rail.

Located just 17 miles east of Manhattan, Nassau County, NY is positioned at the midpoint of the Northeast Corridor, halfway between Washington, D.C. and Boston. New York City is less than 30 minutes away via the Long Island Railroad, the largest commuter railroad in the U.S., and two international airports are located within minutes of Nassau County. Whether the destination is the Eastern Seaboard or the Eastern Hemisphere, Nassau County’s comprehensive infrastructure of airports, ports, rail and road connect businesses with the world.

Yet Nassau county, along with the rest of the Island and in fact all of NY state is in dire need of updates and repairs. One-half of our state’s highways and bridges were built before 1970 and are badly in need of repair. According to the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), 61% of the bridges on Long Island are hazardous to the public.

What is perhaps the most concerning for residents of our county is – according to a New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) analysis of EPA data, Long Island has the most contaminated drinking water in the state. NYPIRG’s Environmental Policy Director Liz Moran says Long Island’s drinking water contains high levels of harmful contaminants like 1,4-dioxane, PFOS and PFOA. Almost 16 million people drink from the contaminated water.

Unfortunately this endemic problem is not unique to Long Island. Our entire nation has fallen victim to a disinterested elite who have neglected the public at large, leaving us with a third-world infrastructure.

American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, which is published every four years, US infrastructure gets a D+ grade. It got the same grade in 2013.

The ASCE estimates the US needs to spend some $4.5 trillion by 2025 to improve the state of the country’s roads, bridges, dams, airports, schools, and more.

The report breaks down the state of infrastructure in 16 different categories.

Aviation: D

Airports face a $42 billion funding gap between 2016 and 2025, according to the ASCE.

Airports and air traffic control systems are in serious need of an update, the report found.

With some two million people per day coming through US airports, congestion is becoming a major problem. In fact, the report estimates that 24 out of the top 30 airports in the US could soon hit “Thanksgiving-peak traffic volume” one day a week.

Bridges: C+

There are about 56,000 structurally deficient bridges in the US, according to the latest data from the Federal Highway Administration.

US bridges are aging.

Out of the 614,387 bridges in the US, more than 200,000 are more than 50 years old.

The report estimates it would cost some $123 billion just to fix the bridges in the US.

Dams: D

Officials inspect Oroville Dam’s crippled spillway Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, in Oroville, Calif.

According to the report, there were some 15,500 high-hazard dams in the US in 2016.

Drinking Water: D

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power crews work to repair a juncture of a water main which ruptured near the University of California, Los Angeles on Sunset Boulevard. The pipe was 93 years old.

The pipes that carry America’s drinking water are in critical need of attention.

According to the report, many of the one million pipes have been in use for almost 100 years. The aging system makes water breaks more prevalent, which means there are about two trillion gallons of treated water lost each year.

Energy: D+M

Most power lines in the US were built in the 1950s and 1960s.

Power interruptions could become more common if more attention isn’t given to the US energy system, according to the report.

The majority of the transmission and distribution lines were built in the mid-20th century and have a life expectancy of about 50 years, meaning that they are already outdated.

Between 2016 to 2025, there’s an investment gap of about $177 billion for infrastructure that supports electricity, like power plants and power lines.

Hazardous Waste: D+

About 22 million acres of land are used for hazardous waste programs.

The report describes the US infrastructure for hazardous waste as “generally adequate,” however, it states that more than half of the US population lives within three miles of one of these waste sites.

Inland Waterways: D

“A barge travels down the Mississippi River. There are some 25,000 miles of inland waterways used for transport in the US.

Inland waterways help transport goods to different parts of the country. But the infrastructure that supports these waterways, like dams and locks, are getting old and causing delays.

In fact, about 50% of vessels using these waterways experience delays, according to the report.

Levees: D

A worker walks across a levee near the Cedar River, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Levees play a critical role in protecting communities from floodwaters, but they aren’t currently getting the attention they need.

During the next 10 years, there’s a need for $80 billion to improve these structures, according to the report.

Parks and Recreation: D+

A car is stopped by a herd of bison crossing the highway in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, June 8, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

National parks in the US are in need of billions of dollars for repairs.

The infrastructure that supports local parks and national parks need improvement.

Roads, bridges, parking areas, trails, and campsites are just a few of the things that need repairs in our nation’s parks.

The National Park Service even estimates that it reached $11.9 billion in deferred maintenance costs in 2015, according to the report.

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