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Monday, October 22, 2012 - 2:00am

Report Highlights Infrastructure Needs

A new report says more than a million US jobs are at risk because the nation is failing to upgrade aging infrastructure.

Savannah harbor expansion leads a long list of infrastructure funding requests that so far Congress has ignored.

Georgia is still waiting for the bulk of federal funding to expand the Savannah harbor.

But the report from the American Society of Civil Engineers makes clear ports aren't the only need.

Page Siplon of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logisitcs says roads, rails and airports all threaten to bleed jobs if the nation lets them fall behind.

"Now is too late," Siplon says. "We've got to plan and figure out in the future how we are going to handle increase volumes of freight that's coming our way."

Siplon wants more public-private partnerships to fund the upgrades.

This year Georgia voters largely rejected a proposed sales tax to pay for transportation projects.

Siplon says infrastructure supports the economy.

"Some of the research we've done shows that, those providers, there's about eleven thousand logistics providers in our state," Siplon says. "If you add their customers into the mix, you're looking at over one million employees that are directly employed in that logistics ecosystem just here in Georgia alone. "

A raft of road and airport projects are high on state lawmakers' agenda for finding federal and state funding.

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