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Little has changed with the latest edition of the report card on US infrastructure

19 Mar 2013 | Posted by | 0 Comments |

On the release today of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Report Card on America’s Infrastructure, Transportation for America’s Director James Corless released the following statement:

“Our country’s association of civil engineers continues to do the yeoman’s work of sounding the alarm on our country’s infrastructure — the roads, rails and waterways that we depend on to move our goods from place to place and get us where we need to go each day. But it’s a sad reality that little has changed since the last Report Card in 2009, with America’s grade climbing only slightly from a D to a D+. Has anything in Washington changed to drastically improve the condition of our roads, bridges and transit systems in the four years since? Last summer, Congress finally passed a replacement to the transportation bill that expired a few months after the last ASCE report card was issued — in 2009. Though a definite sign of progress in some areas, the new law provided no new dollars for transportation in the two years to come. The program dedicated to repairing our country’s 69,000 structurally deficient bridges was eliminated after making steady progress on reducing the backlog over the last 20 years.

With the federal gas tax bringing in less money every year, strong leadership from Congress is needed now more than ever.  We must invest more in fixing our aging 20th century infrastructure, but as the civil engineers rightly point out we also need to be much smarter about how we approach our 21st century transportation needs. We applaud ASCE’s recommendations that focus on innovation, resilience, and strong regional infrastructure plans, and urge Congress to build on these principles as they begin crafting the next federal transportation bill.