The U.S. Secretary of Transportation told the 9th annual Texas Transportation Forum in San Antonio today that the 'infrastructure deficit' that the U.S. is currently facing is enough to derail our economy, 1200 WOAI news reports.


  "We risk losing one of the biggest competitive advantages that our country has always had," Secretary Anthony Foxx told hundreds of transportation planners at the Grand Hyatt Hotel downtown.  "That is the safest, most efficient, and reliable transportation system the world has ever known."


  Foxx said the fact that Congress has not come up with a way to properly fund transportation repairs is also cutting output because many projects are simply left in the drawing room and are never even proposed, because planners know there will not be any money to fund them.


  Foxx said this is in stark contrast to the massive building program undertaken by a confident United States in the 1950s.


  "In the nine years between 1952 and 1961, we built almost 80,000 bridges,' he said, adding that many of those bridges remain in daily use today and are badly in need of repair or replacement.


  He says the country also needs to deepen harbors, make the skies and the airports less congested, and undertake projects to connect people in inner cities and rural areas who still remain 'disconnected' from the rest of the country.


  Foxx said a proposal to make transportation funding part of business tax reform is also on the table.  He also called for more public private partnerships to have employers and corporations get more active in the funding of transportation projects.