American Society of Civil Engineers hands U.S. infrastructure near-failing grade

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 205 views 

The American Society of Civil Engineers gave U.S. infrastructure a D+, unchanged from four years ago, according to the society’s 2017 Infrastructure Report Card. It also projected $4.59 trillion needs to be investment into infrastructure by 2025 to bring up the grade to a B, which is considered adequate.

Accounting for the existing funding levels, the investment shortfall is more than $2 trillion. If the United States doesn’t change its funding, it faces a $3.9 trillion in losses to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product and more than 2.5 million American jobs lost in 2025. In February, President Donald Trump announced a plan to invest $1 trillion in infrastructure.

Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers releases its report card on U.S. infrastructure. It evaluates 16 types of infrastructure, giving grades ranging from B for rail to D- for transit. Though the overall grade didn’t improve in the past four years, seven infrastructure types saw improvement.

“While our nation’s infrastructure problems are significant, they are solvable,” ASCE President Norma Jean Mattei said in a news release. “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.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers recommends increasing infrastructure investment from all level of government and the private sector to 3.5% of GDP by 2025, from 2.5%. It also wants to ensure the investment is “spent wisely including planning for the costs of building, operating and maintaining the infrastructure for its entire lifespan” and to see that the infrastructure is “more resilient and sustainable, with clear economic, social and environmental benefits.”

In Arkansas, roads in disrepair cost each motorist here $589 annually. Also, over the next 20 years, $7.4 billion needs to be invested into drinking water infrastructure. In 2014, the society gave the state an overall grade of D+, ranging from a D for dams and levees to a C+ for wastewater and bridges.

Since 1998, U.S. infrastructure has had near failing grades, averaging only D’s, because of “delayed maintenance and underinvestment across most categories,” the release shows.