2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure

ASCE’s analysis finds investment and innovative solutions led to improvements in six sectors since 2009

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Reston, Va.-based American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has released its 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, a comprehensive assessment of the nation’s infrastructure across 16 sectors.

Updated once every four years, this year’s Report Card found that the cumulative GPA for U.S. infrastructure rose slightly to a D+ from a D in 2009, according to an ASCE press release. The Report Card estimates total investment needs at $3.6 trillion by 2020 across all 16 sectors, leaving a funding shortfall of $1.6 trillion based on current funding levels.

The grades in 2013 range from a high of B- for solid-waste infrastructure to a low of D- for inland waterways and levees. None of the categories received a lower grade than in 2009, the release said. However, near-failing grades continue to be seen in numerous sectors that are crucial to the economy and Americans’ quality of life.

Encouraging trends were found in sectors where focused investments were made. Six sectors (solid waste, drinking water, wastewater, roads, bridges, and rail) each experienced incremental improvements since the 2009 assessment, according to the press release. America’s rail sector saw the largest improvement, moving from a C- to a C+.

The grades by sector include: dams (D), drinking water (D), hazardous waste (D), Levees (D-), solid waste (B-), wastewater (D), aviation (D), bridges (C+), inland waterways (D-), ports (C), rail (C+), roads (D), transit (D), public parks and recreation (C-), schools (D), and energy (D+).

Trends contributing to rising grades

ASCE’s press release noted several key trends driving improvements included:

  • Renewed efforts in cities and states to address deficient roads, bridges, drinking water and wastewater systems.
  • Private investment for efficiency and connectivity brought improvements in the nation’s railways, ports, and energy grid.
  • Several categories benefited from short-term boosts in federal funding.

“A D+ is simply unacceptable for anyone serious about strengthening our nation’s economy,” said ASCE president Gregory E. DiLoreto. “However, the 2013 Report Card shows that this problem can be solved. If we want to create jobs, increase trade, and assure the safety of our children, then infrastructure investment is the answer.”

New digital app enhances report card content

For the first time, the Report Card is available as a digital application that includes videos, state-by-state data, and other multimedia tools. Available for download from iTunes and Google Play, the app is supported across all major platforms and devices.

It is also accessible online at www.infrastructurereportcard.org, and is supported across all major platforms and devices. To download the 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure to your phone or tablet, visit iTunes and Google Play.

Source: American Society of Civil Engineers

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