Infrastructure Report Card

Infrastructure is something everyone in America uses, but we usually don’t think about it’s impact on our economy, prosperity, health and welfare. It is the foundation that connects the nation’s businesses, communities, and people, driving our economy, and improving our quality of life.

Infrastructure is our bridges, dams, waterways, ports, rail, public parks, drinking water, roads, and more. For the U.S. economy to be the most competitive in the world, we need a first-class infrastructure system – transport systems that move people and goods efficiently and at reasonable cost by land, water, and air; transmission systems that deliver reliable, low-cost power from a sustainable range of energy sources; and water systems that protect the public health.

On Thursday, November 7th, 2019, I discovered Infrastructure Report Card, a website that details the condition of America’s infrastructure in all 50 states. Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Report Card for America’s Infrastructure depicts the condition and performance of American infrastructure in the familiar form of a school report card—assigning letter grades based on the physical condition and needed investments for improvement. America’s infrastructure is graded by the ASCE based on capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation and maintenance, public safety, resilience, and innovation. The grades are rates as follows: A: EXCEPTIONAL, B: GOOD, C: MEDIOCRE, D: POOR, F: FAILING.

One of the things that I like about the Infrastructure Report Card enough to create a whole page on my website to provide a link to it on, is the vast amount of information it provides such as this about Alabama’s bridges: “Alabama’s 15,986 bridges span more than 485 miles, together stretching longer than a trip between Mobile and Huntsville. About 8% of Alabama’s bridges are classified as structurally deficient, and the situation is forecasted to worsen as the average age of Alabama’s bridges climbs from 44 years now to the age of bridge retirement around 50. Over 2,600 (16%) bridges in Alabama are currently posted for reduced weight limits and many more are closed to all traffic, requiring some drivers to detour 12 miles on average. Roughly one in every six drivers will drive over a structurally deficient or functionally obsolete bridge every single day in Alabama. While about one-third of Alabama’s bridges are maintained by the state, two-thirds of Alabama’s bridges are actually owned and maintained by local city or county governments. To keep up, Alabama could increase its gas tax while the prices are low to fix more bridges now and prevent getting a larger bill down the road.”

If you’re interested in learning about your state’s insfrastructure, click here to go over to the Infrastructure Report Card. You can download detailed pdf reports for each state plus a full report.

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