America's Infrastructure GPA Inches Up To A D+ On National Report Card
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.
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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.
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