Wall Street Journal

Aged concrete can be seen as a car drives under the I-95/495 inner loop bridge on the Suitland Parkway in Forestville, Md. The bridge is one of 61,000 bridges across America that the Department of Transportation said were structurally deficient and in need of repair. MARK WILSON/GETTY IMAGES

Aged concrete can be seen as a car drives under the I-95/495 inner loop bridge on the Suitland Parkway in Forestville, Md. The bridge is one of 61,000 bridges across America that the Department of Transportation said were structurally deficient and in need of repair. MARK WILSON/GETTY IMAGES

June 5, 2015

Make or buy all that you want in the U.S., but if the transportation system doesn’t work, your business will suffer. That’s why the U.S. must address the huge problem of decaying infrastructure.

Manufacturing is physical—not virtual—regardless of the amount of digital technology used to organize, guide and control it. It is dependent on places and the transportation connections among them. Even if research and development can happen on computers, even if simulations can substitute for prototypes or prototypes can be made on 3-D printers, and even if parts can be sourced from anywhere in the world by employees sitting in any part of the world destined for customers in any part of the world, physical objects must move from place to place. Read on…

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