In its 2013 Report Card of American Infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers says the state of America’s infrastructure rose slightly from a D in 2009 to a D+. The Report Card is a comprehensive assessment of the nation’s infrastructure across 16 sectors that is updated every four years.This year’s Report Card estimates total investment needs at $3.6 trillion by 2020 across all sectors, leaving a funding shortfall of $1.6 trillion based on current funding levels.
America’s rail sector saw the largest improvement, moving from a C- to a C+. Both freight and passenger rail have been investing heavily in their tracks, bridges and tunnel as well as adding new capacity for freight and passengers. Since 2009, capital investment from both freight and passenger railroads has exceeded $75 billion.
Ports are a new sector that was added to the Report Card this year, and debuted with a grade C. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that more than 95 percent of overseas trade produced or consumed by the U.S. moves through ports. Port authorities and their private sector partners have planned over $46 billion in capital improvements from now until 2016, however federal funding has declined for navigable waterway and landside freight connections needed to move goods to and from the ports.
The roads sector got a D on the 2013 Report Card. The ASCE report noted that 42 percent of America’s major urban highways remain congested, costing the economy an estimated $101 billion in wasted time and fuel annually. Conditions have improved and federal, state and local capital investments increased to $91 billion annually, however that level of investments is insufficient and projected to result in a decline in conditions and performance in the long run. In order to significantly improve conditions and performance the Federal Highway Administration estimates that $170 billion in capital investment would be needed on an annual basis.
For more information on the American Society of Civil Engineers please visit their website at www.asce.org.
For details on all 16 sectors to the 2013 Report Card for American Infrastructure use the following link, http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/