Steenhoek: Infrastructure investments will be critical for long-term wellness

The executive director of the US Soy Transportation Coalition says the federal government has rightly focused on emergency measures to address immediate needs because of COVID-19.

But, Mike Steenhoek says there will be opportunities in the coming months to focus on the long-term wellness of the economy and industries like agriculture.

“I think one of the most effective ways to promote that long-term wellness is to invest in infrastructure,” he says. “When you make that investment, you’re building an actual tangible asset that people can use not only today, but in the weeks, months, and years to come,” he says.

He says the profitability of farmers, small businesses, manufacturers, and others can be impacted by the condition of the US transportation system.

“If our multi-modal transportation system is well capitalized and well maintained then it facilitates profitability,” he says.   

Steenhoek says there are some opportunities to improve the supply chain that farmers and agriculture rely on…

“With locks and dams, so many of these sites and assets were built years ago and there is a pretty exorbitant need for major rehabilitation and modernization…that would be really significant if congress and the administration agreed to do that,” he says.

He says repairing and replacing rural bridges would also provide a significant economic benefit. According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, there are more than 47,000 structurally deficient bridges in the US.

Audio: Mike Steenhoek

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