Cracking Beneath the Surface: America's Invisibly Eroding Roadways

In need of an underground overhaul, the Capital Beltway exemplifies the deteriorating conditions of 1/3 of the nation's roadways.

The Capital Beltway, like many of the nation's roads built more than 50 years ago, is in a state of invisible disrepair. Beyond just a surface facelift, it needs underground repairs, which would require tearing out several lanes at once and working during night hours to avoid rush hour traffic. Nearly 2/3 of the Beltway's 64 miles are in Maryland, which recently passed a transportation bill.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the U.S. needs to spend an average of $250 more per person per year to provide long-term fixes to the nation's crumbling roadways, nearly a third of which need immediate attention.

To make up for the federal government's foray into austerity, states have adopted transportation plans that include gas and sales tax increases. They will need to triple transportation spending in order to bring roads up to date, writes Ashley Halsey III.

But is repairing the tens of thousands of roadways nearing the end of their life spans the best use of increasingly scarce transportation funds?

Full Story: Beneath the Surface, the Beltway Crumbles

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
$19.95