RURAL INFRASTRUCTURE IS IN NEED OF REPAIR: Infrastructure systems across rural America have fallen into a state of disrepair, holding back rural communities.

  • More than a third of all major rural roads in the United States were in poor or mediocre condition in 2015 according to a report by TRIP, a national transportation research organization.
    • 15 percent of major rural roads were rated in poor condition.
    • 21 percent of major rural roads were rated in mediocre condition.
    • 14 states had 20 percent or more of their major rural roads rated in poor condition, with some states having around 40 percent in poor condition.
  • Ten percent of all rural bridges were rated as “structurally deficient” in 2016, according to TRIP.
  • Small community water systems, or systems that serve 3,300 people or fewer, have $64.5 billion in funding needs over a 20 year period according to a report by the Environmental Protection Agency.
    • Because small water systems lack economies of scale, small cities often experience the largest percentage increase in user charges and fees.
  • More than 100,000 miles of rail lines have been abandoned over the past few decades, reducing critical rail access in many rural communities.

INSUFFICIENT BROADBAND ACCESS: Far too many Americans living in rural communities lack sufficient broadband access. 

  • The high cost of rural broadband deployment has prevented commercial internet providers from installing broadband equipment in rural areas.
  • Insufficient broadband access has left many rural Americans without the tools they need to engage in the modern economy and use important services such as telemedicine and long-distance learning.
  • 39 percent of Americans living in rural areas, 23 million people, lack sufficient broadband access, according to a 2016 report by the Federal Communications Commission.

RURAL PROSPERITY DEPENDS ON INFRASTRUCTURE: It is time to give rural communities the quality infrastructure they need in order to grow and thrive.

  • 93 percent of rural Americans believe Federal investments in infrastructure are important to improving the job situation in their communities, according to a June 2017 poll published by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
    • 74 percent of rural Americans polled believe infrastructure investments are “very important” to improving the job situation in their communities.
  • Many industries important to the rural economy require efficient infrastructure, including energy production, manufacturing, and agriculture.
  • Communities with agriculture dominant economies need reliable infrastructure in order to effectively conduct business.
    • Effective transportation systems help reduce the prices farmers must pay for operating supplies.
    • The agriculture industry relies on a variety of transportation methods such as trucking, rail, and waterways to maintain the agriculture supply chain.