ASCE Releases 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure
Dear ASCE Member,
Today, the American Society of Civil Engineers issued its latest Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, the fourth since 1998. Never has the need for infrastructure investment received such national attention as it is now in the context of stimulating our economy. Recognizing the importance of informing and contributing to this discussion in a timely manner, we made the decision to release the key components of our 2009 Report Card two months ahead of schedule. Today ASCE released the grades for 15 categories of infrastructure, solutions for improvement, and a five year investment need figure.
The overall grade for the nation’s infrastructure is again a D and the cost to bring it up to good condition has risen to $2.2 trillion. In more than a decade, the United States has made no measurable progress in improving either the condition or performance of our roads, bridges, water systems or other vital infrastructure when viewed in aggregate.
Category Grade Aviation
Dams D Drinking Water D- Energy (Electric Power Grid) D+ Hazardous Waste D Inland Waterways D- Levees
Public Parks and Recreation C- Rail C- Roads D- Schools D Solid Waste C+ Transit D Wastewater D-
Despite these low grades and years of delayed improvement, the problems are not beyond our ability to solve. As stewards of the nation’s infrastructure, civil engineers can provide the public and policymakers with expert advice on the condition and ways to improve the nation’s infrastructure. To begin that task, ASCE offers these five Key Solutions to raise the grades:
- Increase federal leadership in infrastructure to address the crisis.
- Promote sustainability and resilience in infrastructure to protect the natural environment and withstand natural and manmade hazards.
- Develop national, regional, and state infrastructure plans that complement a national vision and focus on system-wide results.
- Address life-cycle costs and ongoing maintenance to meet the needs of current and future users.
- Increase and improve infrastructure investment from all stakeholders.
Detailed information on the grades and solutions can be found on the 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure Web site. Be sure to use the Tell-a-Friend feature on the Web site to help us spread the news!
Now is the time to act!
Our nation faces an incredible opportunity not only to improve the condition of the nation’s infrastructure, but to contribute to much needed economic relief. ASCE members are strongly urged to contact their federal legislators in support of the infrastructure funding included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Please share the findings of the Report Card with your lawmakers and explain the specific infrastructure needs in your community. Visit ASCE’s Click & Connect with Congress Web site for additional information and a sample message.
Plus, sign up here for a FREE Webinar with ASCE leaders on February 2 at 12:00 p.m. EST for an in-depth discussion of the Report Card.
Thank you for your support and I look forward to improving the nation’s infrastructure together!
D. Wayne Klotz, P.E., D.WRE, F.ASCE