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America's Infrastructure Fails To Make The Grade

Shanthi Rexaline

President Donald Trump's promise of plowing in $1 trillion into infrastructure projects could be worth only one-fifth of what is actually required. This was revealed by the Infrastructure Report Card for 2017 released by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The report is released once every four years.

Means Way Beyond The Needs

The ASCE said the cost to improve infrastructure now stands at $4.59 trillion, up from the $3.6 trillion estimated in 2013 and $2.2 trillion targeted in 2009.

The organization provided comprehensive assessment of the nation's 16 major infrastructure categories, grading each based on a simple A to F grade. The criteria used for grading included capacity, condition, future need, operation and maintenance, public safety, resilience and innovation.

  • Grade A - Exceptional, fit for future
  • Grade B - Good, Adequate for Now
  • Grade C - Mediocre, Requires Attention
  • Grade D – Poor, At Risk
  • Grade E – Failing, Critical and Unfit for Purpose

Sub-Sector Standings

America's infrastructure scored a D+, unchanged from the previous report and suggesting it's poor and is at risk. Among the individual components, those finding status quo position included Aviation (D), Bridges (C+), Dams (D), Drinking water (D), Energy (D+) and roads (D).

Hazardous wastes (D+ from D), Inland Waterways (D from D-), Leeves (D from D-), Ports (C+ from C), Rail (B from C+), Schools (D+ from D) and Waste Water (D+ from D), all saw improvements. Meanwhile, Pubic Parks & Recreation saw its grade slip to + from C-, Solid Waste's fell to C+ from B- and Transits to D+ from D.

Panacea For Infrastructure Illness

Offering solution to the sorry state of affairs of the infrastructure, the report said through strategic, sustained investment, bold leadership, thoughtful planning, and careful preparation for the needs of the future, America's infrastructure can be improved and restored.

"If the United States is serious about achieving an infrastructure system fit for the 21st century, some specific steps must be taken, beginning with increased, long-term, consistent investment. To continue to delay such investment only escalates the costs and risks of an aging infrastructure system – an option the country, the economy, and families can no longer afford," the report said.

Related Links:

The True Cost Of Fixing America's Infrastructure

Harvard's Lawrence Summers Finds Many Flaws In Trump's Infrastructure Plans

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