America gets a D+ on its infrastructure report card
August 13, 2015
A look at US roads, bridges, railways and waterways that are in desperate need of repair or improvement
The country’s roads, bridges, railways, ports, power grid, communications and more — collectively — get nothing better than a D+ grade on a report card that's put out by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The group estimates the United States will need to spend a hefty $3.6 trillion by 2020 to pay for necessary repairs and upgrades nationwide. Not only are we not doing enough to modernize our public infrastructure, we’re barely maintaining what we have. Once upon a time, America’s infrastructure was the envy of the world. Now we’re falling behind the rest of the world. The U.S. ranked 12th globally for the state of its infrastructure in 2014, down from seventh in 2003, according to the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness ranking. Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates took the top three spots last year. The big problems dogging infrastructure work in the U.S. are legion. First among them is financing. There is just less federal money going around and too much state and local government debt. Throw in political dysfunction at every level and infrastructure that just keeps aging, and the problems only grow with time.