U.S. infrastructure continues to receive poor marks from the nation’s oldest and largest civil engineers’ organization, ASCE, which gave it an overall “D+” grade in the recently released 2017 “Infrastructure Report Card.”
While the report noted incremental progress in restoring the nation’s infrastructure in recent years, it found most areas still lacking – resulting in the same average grade awarded four years ago by ASCE’s 2013 Report Card. Seven of the 16 infrastructure categories assessed by ASCE did see some improvement, including hazardous waste, inland waterways, levees, ports, rail, schools and wastewater. The highest grade was awarded to Rail, which earned a “B” grade, while the lowest grade, a “D-,” went to Transit.
The report offered a state-by-state comparison of infrastructure needs, and California once again came up with sizeable challenges. Some of the key findings for California:
- Driving on roads in need of repair costs each driver an average of $844 per year.
- 5.5% of bridges – totaling 1,388 bridges – are rated structurally deficient
- There are 678 high-hazard potential dams, and 68% of California’s regulated dams have an Emergency Action Plan
- California has $44.5 billion in drinking water infrastructure needs over 20 years
- There are 195,834 miles of public roads in California – of which 50% are rated in poor condition
- There are $26.2 billion in wastewater infrastructure needs over 20 years
- The state’s schools have an estimated capital expenditure gap of $3.2 billi
The Report Card is prepared by a team of 28 civil engineers from across the country with decades of expertise in all 16 categories reported on. The Report included several solutions, including three key steps to raise the grades: increase infrastructure investment and funding at all levels, including federal, state and local; enact legislation to push investment and provide leadership on infrastructure issues; and adopt a cradle-to-grave approach for sustainable infrastructure investment
All totaled, ASCE estimates that the nation’s infrastructure needs add up to $2 trillion across the 16 categories through 2025. To see the full “Infrastructure Report Card” for 2017, go to