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US scores D+ in infrastructure report card

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Dive Brief:

  • The American Society of Civil Engineers has given America's infrastructure an overall score of D+ and estimated that it will take $4.6 trillion by 2025 to make the necessary repairs and upgrades.
  • ASCE rates infrastructure across 16 different categories, and this year the country scored lowest in transit (D-) and highest in rail (B). A few projects fell into the "C" range, but, as the overall core would indicate, most infrastructure elements scored lower.
  • The amount the ASCE estimated that it will take to repair U.S. infrastructure has increased $1 trillion since its last report in 2013.

Dive Insight:

In May of last year, the ASCE released another report indicating that the U.S. will sacrifice 2.5 million jobs and $4 trillion in gross domestic product over the next decade if it can't come up with the $1.44 trillion anticipated infrastructure funding shortfall. According to the ASCE, the U.S. had established a plan to fund only $1.88 trillion of the $3.32 trillion needed at the time.

This most recent ASCE analysis of the county's infrastructure comes at a time when the issue is at the forefront of American politics. President Donald Trump campaigned on the issue before the November elections and told the country that he had a plan to tackle $1 trillion worth of projects by using private investment as the chief strategy.

Since the election, Trump has directed federal agencies to smooth the regulatory path for infrastructure work, and his staffers have reportedly compiled a list of 50 high-priority projects across the U.S. However, there are rumblings in Washington that other issues like healthcare, tax cuts and immigration could push serious progress on infrastructure back to 2018.

Funding such a massive program will also present another hurdle, with Democrats and Republicans having already engaged in a battle of rhetoric over how best to approach financing. Trump and the Republicans are sticking to their private-sector plan, while Democrats insist they'll block any initiative that doesn't include a significant direct federal spending component.


This post originally appeared on our sister publication, Construction Dive. Our mission is to provide busy professionals like you with a bird's-eye-view of the construction industry in 60 seconds. To subscribe to our daily newsletter click here.