We have all complained about the state of our highways, bridges, and transportation in general. But how bad is it really? Turns out, its bad. Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) publishes The Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. The report card grades the various categories of infrastructure (i.e., bridges, dams, highways, transit, etc.)
It should not come as a surprise to anyone that in the ASCE’s most recent report in 2017, the U.S. did not score very well. In fact, the U.S. received a D grade.
So just how bad is it? Just consider that the estimated investment gap between projected needs and likely investment for infrastructure needs will be more than $2.6 trillion by 2029 and more than $5.6 trillion by 2039. The report goes on to state that if these infrastructure needs remain unaddressed, the impact to the economy could be significant, including a loss in gross domestic product of $10.3 trillion and 3 million fewer jobs by 2039.
The incoming administration has promised a $2 trillion infrastructure plan to be deployed during the next four years aimed at addressing many of the infrastructure needs facing our country. While it remains to be seen what the final plan will look like, the problem cannot continue to be ignored.
While it’s probably too late to improve our grade for the ASCE’s 2021 report, it’s never too late to begin turning things around. We can do better and need to do better.
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