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Common Dreams

'Simply Unacceptable': US Gets D+ for Infrastructure

Latest report card from American Society of Civil Engineers shows $3.6 trillion investment needed

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Grades are in, and the poor results for the nation's infrastructure show the results from lack of needed investment.

According to the latest analysis from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), infrastructure in the U.S. gets a cumulative GPA of D+ and needs $3.6 trillion in investment, which will not only raise the grade but "create jobs and improve our quality of life."

While the grade is a slight improvement from the D it received from the last report card in 2009, America's infrastructure grades have received near failing marks since 1998, according to ASCE analyses.

"A D+ is simply unacceptable for anyone serious about strengthening our nation's economy," said ASCE President Gregory E. DiLoreto. 

But “the reason why we want to make improvements to our infrastructure is not just simply to improve the grade,” explained DiLoreto. “Investment in our infrastructure will help grow our economy; it will create jobs and improve our quality of life. It means being able to get to work easier without sitting in traffic all day long; and continuing to enjoy safe, clean and reliable drinking water anywhere in the country; and having an electrical transmission grid with fewer or no blackouts.”

Here are the grades for the 16 categories the group analyzed:

Data: ASCE's 2013 Report Card for America's Infrasctructure
Aviation D Ports C
Bridges C+ Public Parks and Recreation C-
Dams D Rail C+
Drinking Water D Roads D
Energy D+ Schools D
Hazardous Waste D Solid Waste B-
Inland Waterways D- Transit D
Levees D- Wastewater D

"If we want to create jobs, increase trade, and assure the safety of our children, then infrastructure investment is the answer," stated DiLoreto.

One group that has recognized the need for investment in these categories is the Congressional Progressive Caucus, whose Back to Work Budget "substantially increases infrastructure investment to the level the American Society of Civil Engineers says is necessary to close our infrastructure needs gap."

"We must commit today to investing in modern, efficient infrastructure systems to position the U.S. for economic prosperity," added DiLoreto. "Infrastructure can either be the engine for long-term economic growth and employment, or, it can jeopardize our nation's standing if poor roads, deficient bridges, and failing waterways continue to hurt our economy."

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Curious how your state scored?  The report includes an interactive map to see what grade each state received across the 16 categories. Click here to see the map.


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