truckers have suspected as much for years, but now a group of
civil engineers say the nation’s infrastructure is full of cracks,
leaks and holes and is getting worse – their analysis gives transportation,
water and energy systems an overall grade of D-plus, The Associated
report by the American Society of Civil Engineers released Sept.
4 said the condition of 12 categories of infrastructure hasn't
improved in the past two years. The report blamed a weak economy,
limited federal programs, population growth and the threat of
terrorism, which diverted money to security.
concerns about security threats are real, but so are the threats
posed by crumbling infrastructure," Thomas Jackson, ASCE
president, said in a statement. "It doesn't matter if the
dam fails because cracks have never been repaired or if it fails
at the hands of a terrorist. The towns below the dam will still
Don Young, R-AK, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure
Committee, has proposed a $375 billion spending plan, to be paid
for by indexing the gasoline tax to inflation. Young said in a
statement the report reinforced his serious concerns about the
state of the U.S. infrastructure.
we don't provide adequate investment in transportation and water
infrastructure, we will dearly regret it in the long run,"
report gave roads a D-plus.
nation is failing to even maintain the substandard conditions
we currently have," the report said, adding that the average
rush hour grew by more than 18 minutes between 1997 and 2000.
engineers' report gave bridges a C, noting that 27.5 percent of
U.S. bridges were structurally deficient or obsolete in 2000.
systems earned a C-minus, despite increased spending over the
past six years.
to maintain the systems are outpaced by growth in ridership,"
the report said.
transmission earned a D-plus, but the engineers say the trend
is getting worse. Investment in transmission fell by $115 million
annually, to $2 billion a year in 2000 from $5 billion in 1975.
Actual capacity increased by only 7,000 megawatts a year, 30 percent
less than needed to keep up with power demand.
report's other grades included:
- D for aviation. "Little is being done to capitalize on
the low growth period after 9/11 to address the nation's aviation
- D for drinking
water and wastewater. The nation's 54,000 drinking water systems
are aging rapidly, and some sewer systems are 100 years old, while
federal funding remains flat.
- D for dams, with the number of unsafe dams rising to nearly
2,600 and 21 dam failures in the past two years.