North Carolina in Ruins? The State Role in Financing Local Infrastructure Public Deposited

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  • Heady, Kathleen M.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of City and Regional Planning
  • Drummond, William J.
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of City and Regional Planning
  • Over the last two years there has risen a growing public concern about the state of the nation's infrastructure; that is, public facilities, highways, water supply, and wastewater treatment services. The genesis of this concern was the 1981 book, America in Ruins , by Pat Choate and Susan Walter. Choate and Walter argued that: "America's public facilities are wearing out faster than they are being replaced. Under the exigencies of tight budgets and inflation, the maintenance of public facilities essential to national economic renewal has been deferred. Replacement of obsolescent public works has been postponed. New construction has been cancelled... Without attention to deterioration of that infrastructure, economic renewal will be thwarted, if not impossible. We have no recourse but to face the complex task at hand of rebuilding our public facilities as an essential prerequisite to economic renewal." In North Carolina there is currently an estimated $3 billion backlog of needs to repair and replace obsolete, temporary, and deteriorating facilities in highways, sewer, and schools alone. The number of inhabitants in North Carolina is expected to increase by 17 to 25 percent by the year 2000, requiring the state's infrastructure to support between 900,000 and 1.4 million more people and up to one-half million more households. Employment is predicted to increase at approximately twice the rate of population growth. The level and location of major private sector capital and other investment decisions will likely be influenced by the quality of infrastructure available and whether or not a sound program for maintenance and expansion exists.
Date of publication
Resource type
  • Article
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Journal title
  • Carolina Planning Journal
Journal volume
  • 9
Journal issue
  • 2
Page start
  • 22
Page end
  • 26
  • English
Digital collection
  • Carolina Planning Journal
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