Every four years the American Society of Civil Engineers releases a report on the state of the nation’s infrastructure – and every year the United States receives an abysmal rating. But for the first time in 15 years, the United States actually saw an improvement in the latest report. Before you get too excited, the rating was raised from really bad to a little less really bad. For 2013, the country received a D+ on its report card, which is up from the D that it received in 2009. If the United States were a high school student, it would be on the crumbling road to summer school.
Infrastructure photo from Shutterstock
The ASCE uses the familiar letter grading system (from A down to F) to issue a report card for the nation’s infrastructure. In 1988, the year that the report was first issued, the nation received an overall score of C-minus.
In reviewing infrastructure, the ASCE looks at dams, waste, transportation, and public facilities and while the US may have improved overall, it still has a long way to go, particularly in areas like levees and inland waterway structures, which received a D-minus rating. The country’s best rating was in solid waste, which received a B-minus. Dams, roads, drinking water and aviation all received a D.
According to the report, the US needs to invest $3.6 trillion by 2020 in order to maintain a good state of repair. Many departments, like dams, receive one-third of the funding necessary to keep things running in good shape. Levees receive one-tenth of what they need. Without serious investment, a D-plus may just be the highest grade the United States can aspire to.
Via New York Times
images from USACE