Published: Sat, March 11, 2017
Money | By Oscar Reynolds

Infrastructure Report Card: D+

Infrastructure Report Card: D+

The 2017 Report Card found the national grade for infrastructure to be a D+, with ports receiving a C+.

Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers' (ASCE) Report Card for America's Infrastructure depicts the condition and performance of American infrastructure.

The ASCE estimated in a statement that the United States needed to invest $4.59 trillion by 2025 to bring its infrastructure to an adequate B- grade, a figure about $2 trillion higher than current funding levels.

"The rise to a C+ may be attributed to increased recognition among federal policymakers that the state of our nation's ports, and the landside and waterway connections to them, drive our economy and stimulate jobs". It includes a vast network of other systems that most people take for granted, including drinking water and sewer service, the electrical supply system, railroads, transit systems, and ports.

In addition, America's water systems are leaking trillions of gallons of water, more than 2,000 dams are at high risk of failure, and there are 59,000 structurally deficient bridges around the country. We also conveyed our concerns about the poor condition of the water-and landside connections to many USA ports, making the case that while port authorities and their private-sector partners are investing heavily in their facilities, the federal government isn't making the necessary related investments in those ports, and the road, rail and water connections to them, to help keep America's freight moving.

He says the nation's aging airports are increasingly congested, too.

"Tax credits, to the extent that they are useful, are more helpful to new projects", said Carl Weisbrod, former New York City planning director. Almost 59,000 are structurally deficient. While this shows that progress has been made in marine port infrastructure since 2013, it also demonstrates there's a lot left to do.

Mass transit earns the worst grade of all, a D-minus.

"We need our elected leaders - those who pledged to rebuild our infrastructure on the campaign trail - to follow through on those promises with investment and innovative solutions", ASCE President Norma Jean Mattrei said.

"Unfortunately we have a tendency to wait for disaster and be reactive and we want to be proactive and not reactive", says engineer Tom Smith. "Because when we're reactive, it ends up costing significantly more than when we're proactive". To ensure long-term, sustainable funding for the federal surface transportation program, the current user fee - 18.4 cents per gallon on gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel fuel - must be raised by at least 25 cents per gallon and tied to inflation to restore its purchasing power, fill the funding deficit, and ensure reliable funding for the future. "There's no magic wand to address this crisis, no infrastructure money tree, no infrastructure private sector angel".

"I think we're looking at a public private partnership as a funding mechanism", Spicer said in his briefing Thursday.

Fix the Highway Trust Fund by raising the federal motor fuel tax.

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