The most authoritative report of America’s infrastructure gives the country’s crumbling roads, bridges, dams, and other essential underpinnings an overall D+ grade. Not a single element of America’s framework received an A grade.
The American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) 2017 Infrastructure Report Card paints a grim picture of the nation’s backbone. According to the analysis, there has been little improvement in America’s transportation, water, energy, and waste management systems since the last report was released in 2013. The overall D+ score (indicating systems that are considered “poor” or “at risk”) was consistent with the findings of the 2013 report.
The grading system is simple: A = exceptional, fit for the future; B = good, adequate for now; C = Mediocre, requires attention; D = poor, at risk; F = failing, unfit for purpose. The ASCE was able to hand out only one B grade, to railways, and not a single A.
The report graded 16 infrastructure categories: aviation (D), bridges (C+), dams (D), drinking water (D), energy (D+), hazardous waste (D+), inland waterways (D), levees (D), parks and recreation (D+), ports (C+), railways (B), roads (D), schools (D+), solid waste (C), public transit (D-) and wastewater (D+) resources.
ASCE says the country currently faces more than $2 trillion in infrastructure funding shortfalls, which it estimates will, by 2025, cost the wider US economy $3.9 trillion and 2.5 million domestic jobs. The ASCE estimates the average cost to American families in time lost in traffic, delayed flights and other infrastructure snafus is $3,400 in disposable income a year.
California faces infrastructure challenges of its own. Driving on roads in need of repair in California costs each driver $844 per year, and 5.5% of bridges are rated structurally deficient. Drinking water needs in California are an estimated $44.5 billion, and wastewater needs total $26.2 billion. 678 dams are considered to be high-hazard potential. This report comes just one month after the near-collapse of the Oroville dam in Northern California that precipitated the evacuation of 200,000. View California’s report card here
“While our nation’s infrastructure problems are significant, they are solvable,” Norma Jean Mattei, ASCE’s president, said. “We need our elected leaders – those who pledged to rebuild our infrastructure while on the campaign trail – to follow through on those promises with investment and innovative solutions that will ensure our infrastructure is built for the future.”
“While Congress and states have made some effort to improve infrastructure, it’s not enough,” said Greg DiLoreto, a former ASCE president. “To see real progress, we need to make long-term infrastructure investment a priority. Investing now will create economic opportunity, enhance quality of life, and ensure public health and safety.”
Source: The Guardian