This year, the Infrastructure in the USA gets a D+ instead of a D, according to the ranking by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Key points in the overview:
Our nation is at a crossroads. Deteriorating infrastructure is impeding our ability to compete in the thriving global economy, and improvements are necessary to ensure our country is built for the future. While we have made some progress, reversing the trajectory after decades of underinvestment in our infrastructure requires transformative action from Congress, states, infrastructure owners, and the American people.
That’s why, every four years, America’s civil engineers provide a comprehensive assessment of the nation’s 16 major infrastructure categories in ASCE’s Infrastructure Report Card. Using a simple A to F school report card format, the Report Card examines current infrastructure conditions and needs, assigning grades and making recommendations to raise them.
Every state gets a grade. It won’t surprise anyone who’s lived or driven in N.J. that the Garden State also ranks a D+ in the ASCE’s ranking. But what gets me is that, every time the ASCE puts out the Report Card, it once again calls for a national gas tax, which is non-starter in Congress right now, best as I can tell.
For all the creativity and depth in the report, ASCE might consider some fresh approaches on how to fund all these necessary improvements. The national gas tax is a dud. Was four years ago, is now.. The reality is, many states are too strapped — or have too many debt obligations to ask taxpayers to cough up more. Same sentiment abounds regarding the national gas tax. Something’s got to change. Given the change election we just witnessed, it would be great to see the ASCE look at alternative funding, or delve into other ways of financing the nation’s needed improvements beyond the national gas tax. So gotta give the ASCE a B- on the report. Great on overall details, but stuck on on how to pay.
Here’s the full report: