America will fall $1.44 trillion short of what it needs to spend on infrastructure through the next decade, a gap that could strip 2.5 million jobs and $4 trillion of gross domestic product from the economy, says a report from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

ASCE estimated that through 2025, the United States has funded only about 56 percent of its needed infrastructure spending. The nation needs to spend $3.32 trillion to keep its ports, highways, bridges, trains, water and electric facilities up to date but has funded only $1.88 trillion of that, ASCE said. The $1.44 trillion shortfall rises to $5.18 trillion through 2040 without new funding commitments

“America is currently spending more failing to act on its infrastructure gap than it would to close it,” said Greg DiLoreto, past president of ASCE and chair of the Committee for America’s Infrastructure.

ASCE’s recent Failure to Act report is an update to its Report Card for American Infrastructure — a comprehensive state-by-state report last released three years ago. At that time, California was awarded a C grade —a performance classified as “mediocre.” California’s score was an average of these grades assigned to eight different types of infrastructure: Aviation (C+), Drinking Water (C), Levees (D), Ports (B-), Solid Waste (B), Transportation (C-), Urban Runoff (D+), and Wastewater (C+).

Crumbling infrastructure “has a cascading impact on our nation’s economy, impacting business productivity, gross domestic product, employment, personal income, and international competitiveness,” states the Failure to Act report. It also dampens families’ disposable income. From 2016 through 2025, each household will lose $3,400 annually because of infrastructure deficiencies, ASCE said.

ASCE releases its Report Card for American Infrastructure every four years — the next report card is due to be released in 2017. Since its last report card, most areas have been stable or shown modest improvement and have been buoyed by recent federal, state and local investments. But surface transportation has worsened, with the gap increasing compared to previous studies, the group said.

Source: Reuters