RESTON, Va., March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) today released its 2013 Report Card for America's Infrastructure, a comprehensive assessment of the nation's infrastructure across 16 sectors. Updated once every four years, this year's Report Card found that America's cumulative GPA for infrastructure rose slightly to a D+ from a D in 2009. The Report Card estimates total investment needs at $3.6 trillion by 2020 across all 16 sectors, leaving a funding shortfall of $1.6 trillion based on current funding levels.
The grades in 2013 range from a high of B- for solid waste infrastructure to a low of D- for inland waterways and levees. None of the categories received a lower grade than in 2009, however near-failing grades continue to be seen in numerous sectors that are crucial to the economy and Americans' quality of life.
Encouraging trends were found in sectors where focused investments were made. Six sectors (solid waste, drinking water, wastewater, roads, bridges, and rail) each experienced incremental improvements since the last assessment. America's rail sector saw the largest improvement, moving from a C- to a C+.
TRENDS CONTRIBUTING TO RISING GRADES
Key trends driving improvements included:
- Renewed efforts in cities and states to address deficient roads, bridges, drinking water, and wastewater systems;
- Private investment for efficiency and connectivity brought improvements in the nation's railways, ports, and energy grid;
- Several categories benefited from short-term boosts in federal funding.
"A D+ is simply unacceptable for anyone serious about strengthening our nation's economy; however, the 2013 Report Card shows that this problem can be solved. If we want to create jobs, increase trade, and assure the safety of our children, then infrastructure investment is the answer," said ASCE President Gregory E. DiLoreto, P.E.
For the first time, the 2013 Report Card includes information for all 50 states and highlights initiatives and innovations that are making a difference. For example, Oklahoma created a plan to replace or rehabilitate over 950 structurally deficient bridges between 2013 and 2020. Philadelphia implemented a program to improve resiliency and address combined sewer overflows using green infrastructure, capable of capturing water from all but the most severe storms.
"We must commit today to investing in modern, efficient infrastructure systems to position the U.S. for economic prosperity," added DiLoreto. "Infrastructure can either be the engine for long-term economic growth and employment, or, it can jeopardize our nation's standing if poor roads, deficient bridges, and failing waterways continue to hurt our economy."
Click here to view Report Card grades for specific infrastructure sectors.
NEW DIGITAL APP ENHANCES REPORT CARD CONTENT
For the first time, the Report Card is available as a digital application that includes videos, state by state data, and other multimedia tools. Available for download from iTunes and Google Play, the app is supported across all major platforms and devices. It is also accessible online at www.infrastructurereportcard.org, and is supported across all major platforms and devices.
ABOUT THE ASCE REPORT CARD
Using a simple A to F school report card format, the Report Card provides a comprehensive assessment of current infrastructure conditions and needs, both assigning grades and making recommendations for how to raise them. An Advisory Council of leading civil engineers appointed by ASCE assigns the grades according to the following eight criteria: capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation and maintenance, public safety, resilience, and innovation. Since 1998, the grades have been near failing, averaging only Ds, due to delayed maintenance and underinvestment across most categories.
To view and download the 2013 Report Card for America's Infrastructure, please visit www.infrastructurereportcard.org.
To download the 2013 Report Card for America's Infrastructure to your phone or tablet, please visit iTunes and Google Play.
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 140,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. For more information, visit www.asce.org.
2013 Report Card for America's Infrastructure
SOURCE American Society of Civil Engineers