By Brian Sodoma for Arizona State University
oughly 40 percent of the nation’s roads and major highways are not considered to be in good condition, and about 70,000 of U.S. bridges are structurally deficient. During the 2016 presidential campaign both candidates seized on our failing transportation infrastructure, each promising heavy investments to rebuild roads and bridges.
Now, while political leaders grapple with where to prioritize infrastructure investment, our transportation needs call for deeper, more complex dialogue than that offered in political talking points. Beyond rebuilding today’s infrastructure, we may want to ask ourselves what tomorrow’s roads, bridges and automobile alternatives might look like, and how we can prepare for coming change. What technological advances should we take into consideration? Will autonomous vehicles go mainstream soon? Which materials are best from sustainability and longevity standpoints?