ASCE Infrastructure Report Card

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) prepares a Report Card for America’s Infrastructure every four years that grades each area of our infrastructure with a letter grade in the fashion of a school report card.

The latest Report Card issued in 2013 , gave the country an overall grade of D+. ASCE estimates our nation needs to invest 3.6 trillion by 2020 to prevent further decline and keep pace with the nation’s ever increasing needs to our water and environment, transportation, energy, and public facilities infrastructures. 

In 2016 ASCE updated their findings within their report, Failure to Act: Closing the Infrastructure Investment Gap for America’s Economic Future. The report estimated by 2025 the declining infrastructure will result in  a 3.9 trillion cost to the US GDP, 7 trillion in lost business sales, and 2.5 million lost jobs. Furthermore, each American household will lose $3,400 annually between 2016 and 2026 due to the inefficiencies of the crumbling infrastructure .

The ASCE website provides infographics reporting the  condition of each States’ Infrastructure  and a listing of some of the  States’ Report Cards.  Efforts to improve one segment of our nation’s infrastructure, Roads and Transportation, can be found on the Transportation Investment Advocacy Center’s (TIAC) website. TIAC monitors pending and completed infrastructure investment legislative action in each State . (TIAC) is a private organization funded by  The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).

ARBTA-TIAC reported that in the recent November election 22 states approved transportation funding and funding extensions totaling $201 billion. California led the funding initiatives with $133 billion in transportation legislation. Other big winners included Maine’s $100 million transportation bond and Rhode Island’s $70 million port improvement bond.   Washington State approved legislation that would provide $54 billion in revenues to improve light rail and bus routes over the next 25 years. Georgia voters approved new taxes to raise $4 billion for rail and transit projects in the metro Atlanta area.

The November election also brought news of possible infrastructure improvements at the federal level. President-elect Trump’s Contract with the American Voter stated he would introduce legislation within his first 100 days in office to include the American Energy & Infrastructure Act, which “Leverages public-private partnerships, and private investment through tax initiatives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investments over 10 years. It is revenue neutral.”  The impact and meaning of the President-elect’s plan is generating a great deal of discussion and debate.  A challenging and  interesting topic for a future article.