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Priority on Infrastructure

The New York Times (Letters)

To the Editor:

David Brooks hit the nail on the head in "A National Mobility Project" (column, Oct. 31) when he said developing a long-term strategy to address our nation's infrastructure should be a top priority for our next president.

Our economy cannot prosper if our transportation infrastructure lacks sufficient capacity. As the American population grows, so will the demand for transportation services; in fact, the Department of Transportation has projected that demand will rise 92 percent by 2035.

Without a strong, healthy transportation system in place to meet this demand, American businesses won't be able to import and export goods efficiently, and our ability to compete in a global economy will be hindered.

It's imperative that the next president make addressing our nation's infrastructure needs an urgent priority when he arrives in Washington. In addition to repairing our nation's aging highways and bridges, a smart plan should not overlook the importance of expanding capacity on the freight rail network to ensure productivity growth and the efficient and economical movement of freight.

Norman Mineta
Washington, Nov. 3, 2008

The writer is a former secretary of transportation in the Bush administration.