See coverage of transportation and infrastructure-related concerns and read about bills and positions supported by the Greater Baltimore Committee.
The Greater Baltimore Committee’s 2021 Transportation & Infrastructure Summit took place virtually on July 26. The event included a discussion on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework plan to invest in highways, bridges, transit, ports and broadband to help rebuild America.
In his opening comments, Greater Baltimore Committee President and CEO Donald C. Fry said, “We are fortunate to be having the summit at a time when much of Washington and the nation are discussing solutions to address long-overdue improvements to our transportation and infrastructure nationwide and all of us are watching closely what impact the legislation may have on the State of Maryland and the Greater Baltimore region.”
Broadband access and transportation infrastructure were hot topics for Maryland legislators during the 2021 Maryland General Assembly session.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted stark inequities among Maryland residents in their ability to access these key infrastructure components that are vital to economic success. Multiple bills were introduced during the session to expand high speed internet access, also known as broadband, and to adequately maintain and expand transit infrastructure.
The Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC) supported many of these bills as they increase the ability of Maryland residents to fully participate in education, employment and training opportunities, which will improve the overall economy of the Greater Baltimore region and address racial and social disparities.
Earlier this year, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones announced a bipartisan agreement to allocate approximately $300 million of the $3.9 billion in federal funding that Maryland will receive under the American Rescue Plan Act to improve the broadband network in Maryland. The Maryland General Assembly also established the Office of Statewide Broadband to ensure that every Marylander has access to broadband services by December 31, 2025.
U.S. infrastructure received an overall C- grade from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in its 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure.
That’s an improvement over the D+ grade U.S. infrastructure received in 2017, the last time the report was published, and the highest grade issued in 20 years. A state-by-state ASCE ranking gave Maryland an overall C grade.
According to the report, the investment gap in infrastructure nationwide has risen in the past 10 years to $2.59 trillion.
The state of the country’s infrastructure is at a crossroads, experts say.
There’s no debating the nation’s infrastructure system needs significant investment.
This year a leading authority on infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers, gave the nation’s infrastructure a grade of C minus. That’s marginally better than the D plus grade the society issued in 2017.
When we talk about infrastructure, we are referring to the nation’s airports, railways, roads, bridges, electrical grids and more, including broadband, which some call the “new electricity.”
Infrastructure in the United States is vital to the nation’s economy.
- Statement of Donald C. Fry, President and CEO, Greater Baltimore Committee, on Passage of Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework
- Statement of Donald C. Fry, President and CEO, Greater Baltimore Committee, on U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s Visit to the Port of Baltimore
- Baltimore Business Journal: U.S. Sens. Cardin, Van Hollen revive federal support for Red Line project
- Baltimore Sun: Infrastructure deal facing ‘legitimate problems,’ Cardin says. The money would fund Maryland transit, broadband needs.
- Baltimore Business Journal: U.S. Sen. Cardin, Mayor Scott have discussed a possible revival of the Red Line project