Do you know what the single-most important attribute of all successful societies have in common? To safely get people and objects from point A to point B.
Infrastructure is crucially important to our nation, second only to the ability to protect it. Better infrastructure means a brighter future: more trade, faster transport times, wider availability, and a whole lot more.
Aside from the obvious better roads and safer bridges, America can invest in new methods of shipping by land, sea, and air. Roads can be patched more easily, break less often, handle increased weight and traffic, and be safer for everyone on them. Bridges NEED repair. Collapses mean potential deaths and certain catastrophies. They are the only way for things to get across inhospitable terrain by land. They're vital. Public transport reduces the harmful effects of pollution, offers a cheaper, more reliable mode of transit for many in cities, and can be significantly faster than personal vehicles. Much of the rest of the world has this, why not US?
Improving transportation is a massive undertaking that will span decades. It's an ongoing process just like it always was. Below are a few of the ways Prometheus Project suggest improving America's infrastructure.
High-speed rail is incredible and it's a shame we don't have it here. A maglev train in China can travel up to 600kph (or 373 miles per hour). This means a route connecting New York to Los Angeles would take roughly 8 hours (vs 41 by car). By commercial airliner this takes about 5 hours - maglev's are really, really fast!
While it may not make much sense to build a route from NY to LA any time soon, it does make sense to implement this technology in parts of the North East and West Coast (where millions of people travel every day). A trip from Boston to DC would take a mere 90 minutes vs almost 7 hours by car (~400 minutes; nearly 4.5x faster). The distance from San Francisco to San Diego? About the same (less than 2 hours vs more than 7). It would revolutionize life for millions of people in the areas where it exists.
Some people may not be comfortable paying for this if they live in a state that cannot directly benefit from it. While this is fine, the federal government is still required to have some role in interstate travel. Just like its your tax dollars that helped pay for the roads that allow you to travel and goods to reach you, investments in high-speed rail today will help your area eventually thanks to changes that go along with it.
Most aircrafts travel at subsonic speeds because the energy excerted by constantly fighting the "sonic boom" of faster-than-sound travel is not very efficient. It's fine for really fast equipment like fighter jets and missiles, but hardly practical for passenger transport or cargo planes. But what if you could go "around" this immense wave of pressure building up at the nose of the plane? Or more accurately, have the wave go around you. I have a theory that by using a system of electromagnetic emissions we can create a sort of "wind tunnel" (or partial vacuum) that the aircraft can travel through without suffering the wrath of turbulent air molecules pummeling the plane as it pushes through condensed air. While this system would use more fuel than subsonic planes (because it requires additional energy to power the tunneling device), the gain in speed should more than make up for the additional energy consumption in terms of economics (fuel economy).
The shockwave would still occur, but it would happen in front of and behind the plane (2 sonic booms, once when the air particles are thrashed aside and another when the hollowed space collapses after the plane has passed through). This advancement would see planes traveling at 2-3x their current average speed by using roughly 46% more fuel (meaning a plane could travel from NY to LA in 2 hours instead of 5).
While subject to some contention, underground tubes would provide a massive improvement to how we ship smaller goods. Just like the US Postal Service has been vital for hundreds of years, this state-run network of tubes is like the 21st century version of advance: from horseback to trains to automobiles to planes, several advancements have been made already. A system of underground tubes with 5 key hubs in the West, Mid-west, North East region, South East region, and Gulf Coast area could transport packages in a fraction of the time it takes more traditional means of transit by land. Largely automated, this system could send fish from the coast or beef from the midwest anywhere in the contenental US in less than 24 hours - no jet fuel required.