The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recently released the 2017 Infrastructure Report and once again, America is not up to par with the ASCE's standards. The nation’s overall score was a D+. At face value, the score looks terrible but in 7 reports the ASCE has released on this subject since 1988, America has only achieved anything higher than D+ once. Basically, America has maintained the same score for the past 30 years.
The ASCE releases an infrastructure report every 4 years. The goal of the report is to depict where America’s infrastructure stands and which areas need improvement. The report covers everything from America’s roads to the schools to airports. A full list can be found here. At the end of the report, the ASCE estimates the cost that it will take to fix the infrastructure. Their estimate in this report was that America needs to spend $4.59 trillion over 10 years to repair the failing infrastructure.
The claims made by the report are backed up by things Americans in their day-to-day lives face and by multiple catastrophic infrastructure events. Ask any citizen who works in Atlanta and they make it clear that Atlanta’s traffic is what ruins their day. The overwhelming amount of people going through the area is too much for current road structure. These road areas need improvement as they delay the movement of goods in Georgia and take up a chunk of time of Atlanta commuters. Likewise, events like the Minneapolis I-35 bridge collapse are more tragic. When infrastructure fails like this, innocent lives are lost. An investment devoted to fully studying and repairing or replacing infrastructures that are fragile and outdated is needed.
How concerned should Americans be? The report was created by civil engineers. As people who spend their daily lives working on static structures, they are well versed in that area, and their data and recommendations should be respected. The thing is that they want to hold the nation to extremely high standards. In their report, they specify that America needs to strive for B average in order for infrastructure to be considered to be in great conditions. Thus, America does not necessarily need to go all out and fix every single wrong thing in the infrastructure. It should not ignore it either.
Infrastructure is key to making America a strong nation. A stable infrastructure allows for efficient transportation of goods. Investing in the infrastructure also creates jobs in the construction industry. The current government should take the report seriously and investment into America’s infrastructure as it will help make America more efficient and the economy will receive boost.