March 19, 2013

Report: U.S. Infrastructure Earns a D+ Report

Report: U.S. Infrastructure Earns a D+
Rahall Renews Calls for Responsible Investment in Infrastructure

Washington, D.C. – The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) today gave U.S. infrastructure a letter grade of “D+”, after reviewing sixteen different categories of American infrastructure over the last four years.  U.S. Representative Nick J. Rahall (D-WV), top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, renewed calls for Congress to make the investments necessary to tackle this well-documented backlog of highway, bridge, water, transit, and other infrastructure needs.

“It has been four years since America earned a “D” for the state of our infrastructure and it should be little surprise that after maintaining relatively flat infrastructure funding since that time, we are maintaining our place at the back of the class,” said Rahall.  “While our infrastructure grades have remained stagnant the consequences of our underinvestment have only been magnified.  As this report reveals we are spending even more time sitting in endless traffic, our communities are losing money to patch older infrastructure we should be replacing, and worst of all, our failure to invest in our infrastructure is costing us jobs at a time when millions of Americans are desperately seeking employment.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has conducted an extensive study of the state of American Infrastructure every four years since 1998.  This year’s report found that forty-two percent of America’s highways are congested, costing the economy over $100 billion in wasted time and fuel annually, while congestion at U.S. airports costs almost $22 billion.  While U.S. bridges were one of the highest ranked infrastructure categories with a “C+” grade, 1 in 9 U.S. bridges were still found to be structurally deficient. 

“It is high time that we move beyond just rhetoric when it comes to the state of our infrastructure and recognize that it is about the money,” said Rahall.  “Later this week, the House will consider a budget that essentially eliminates federal investment in our roads and transit systems in FY 2015. If we do not find the political will to beat back these ideological proposals and increase investment in infrastructure we will again find ourselves bringing up the rear four years from now.”