ASCE C- rating shows need to invest in America’s infrastructure, infrastructure groups say

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In response to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) rating American infrastructure with a grade of C-, infrastructure groups said the report highlights the need to invest in the country’s infrastructure.

ASCE’s 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gave the infrastructure as a whole a C-, an improvement over the previous grades in the D range. But many of the 17 categories the group evaluated did not fare so well individually. Eleven categories were in the D range, and only two got grades in the B range.

“We salute ASCE and its members for their continued efforts to sound the alarm about the fragile state of America’s infrastructure. ASCE’s latest report card underscores how critical it is to invest in our nation’s infrastructure to emerge much stronger from the pandemic. The nearly 6,400 miles of tolled roads, tunnels, and bridges in America are among the safest in the world precisely because we invest in regular maintenance and capital improvements. The report card provides a roadmap to Congress as they take action on a stimulus bill and draft the next transportation reauthorization legislation. We must find a way to pay for our major infrastructure, and we know that tolling is a powerful and effective tool to help states do just that,” said Mark Compton, President of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association and CEO of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

ASCE looked at aviation, bridges, dams, drinking water, energy, hazardous waste, inland waterways, levees, public parks, rail, roads, schools, solid waste, stormwater, transit, and wastewater. Rail received the highest grade of a B, while ports received the next highest at B-. Transit received the lowest grade of a D-.

“The nation’s 140,000-mile rail network is its healthiest ever thanks to $25 billion on average in annual private investments,” said Association of American Railroads President and CEO Ian Jefferies. “The ultimate mark of success is how railroads safely, reliably, and sustainably deliver for customers and communities day in and day out across the country. At the same time, ASCE’s report is an urgent reminder of the need for robust investment into the nation’s passenger rail lines, not to mention infrastructure more broadly.”

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, said the report underscores the need to pass transformational infrastructure legislation.

“Once again, we have a comprehensive scorecard from the American Society of Civil Engineers, and America’s overall infrastructure is rated at C minus. Wastewater, highways, transit are all rated in the Ds. This is not acceptable,” DeFazio said, underscoring decades of underinvestment at the Federal level. “The States can’t go it alone. The cities can’t go it alone. They need a Federal partner.”

DeFazio also said investment in infrastructure would create jobs.

“We had seven fake Infrastructure Weeks under Trump…President Biden is dead serious about rebuilding our Nation’s infrastructure, moving our infrastructure into the 21st century, and creating millions of jobs as we rebuild it. Rebuild it resilient for severe weather events, rebuild it in a way that begins to de-fossilize transportation, the largest contributor to climate change in the United States and this is something that must get done and this scorecard highlights it,” he said.