U.S. infrastructure was given a near-failing grade by an engineering association this week. According to Reuters, the D+ grade from the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) hasn’t changed from its last report card in 2013, which suggests that only minor progress had been made in improving public works in that time.
The ASCE estimates that the U.S. needed to invest $4.59 trillion by 2025 to bring its infrastructure to an adequate B- grade. That number is about $2 trillion higher than current funding levels.
The ASCE’s report could fuel the debate over infrastructure spending in Washington. In an address to Congress last week Trump said he would pass legislation that would produce $1 trillion in infrastructure investment and millions of new jobs. Trump has not provided details but he has talked about a tax credit to encourage private sector investment.
The ASCE gave the nation’s dams a D grade.
“The average age of the 90,580 dams in the country is 56 years,” the report noted, adding that “the number of deficient high-hazard potential dams has also climbed to an estimated 2,170 or more.”
In the ASCE’s A-to-F grading of 16 infrastructure categories, with A the top grade, seven areas showed progress and three declined.
The highest grade, a B, went to rail, which is up from C+ in 2013. The report said significant spending was a major factor in the improvement.
The lowest grade was D- for public transit, which dropped from a D four years ago. Extremely underfunded rail and bus systems face a $90 billion backlog.