Highways, bridges, airports, and systems of mass transit, power and telecommunication networks, water supply and storage, waste water and solids treatment, and hazardous waste treatment not being adequately maintained, repaired and improved to meet current and future demands. When the national infrastructure is not maintained there may be loss of life, millions of dollars lost and a decrease in productivity for a region or the whole nation. The failure to maintain these services may be the result of delays in approving projects, of failure to invest in infrastructure, high cost in meeting national or local requirements, money being allocated in wasteful ways, inefficient forms of awarding infrastructure contracts or low political appeal for maintenance verses new projects. Projects may be delayed because of multiple layers of sometimes conflicting government agencies required to approve projects. Costs might increase faster than incomes for projects.
In the USA infrastructure expenditures declined from 2.3% of GNP in the 1960s to a mere 0.4% by the early 1980s.