ASCE 2013 Infrastructure Report Card highlights the need for steady, sustained investment in our nation’s infrastructure.
Every four years the American Society of Civil Engineers releases a report card on the state of the nation’s infrastructure. The 2013 report card, released March 19, shows a slight increase in conditions from a D to a D+. The grades in 2013 ranged from a high of B- for solid waste to a low of D- for inland waterways and levees. Solid waste, drinking water, wastewater, roads, and bridges all saw incremental improvements, and rail jumped from a C- to a C+. No categories saw a decline in grade this year.
The 2013 Report Card demonstrates that the current condition of our nation’s infrastructure can be improved when investments are made and projects move forward. Investing in infrastructure is essential to support healthy, vibrant communities. Infrastructure is also critical for long-term economic growth, increasing GDP, employment, household income, and exports. The reverse is also true – without prioritizing our nation’s infrastructure needs, deteriorating conditions can become a drag on the economy.
While a modest gain, the overall low grade demonstrates the significant backlog of overdue maintenance across our infrastructure systems, a pressing need for modernization, and an opportunity to create reliable, long-term funding sources to avoid wiping out our recent gains.