Infrastructure Defects: ASCE’s Report Card (Spoiler: America gets a D+) (news note)

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How many bridges do you drive over on your way to work each day?  Probably a bunch, if you have the typical commute of 32 round trip miles per day.  Now, how many of them are *not* structurally sound?  Probably more than you realize.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has just released its American Infrastructure Report Card.  Overall, the nation scored a miserable overall D+. Here’s the breakdown for the Transportation categories:

        Aviation        D
        Bridges        C+
        Inland Waterways        D-
        Ports        C
        Rail        C+
        Roads        D
        Transit        D

    In the breakout for North Carolina,

  • 2,192 of the 18,165 (12.1%) bridges in North Carolina are considered structurally deficient.
  • 3,296 of the 18,165 (18.1%) bridges in North Carolina are considered functionally obsolete.

The report has a ton of interactive information, including a nation-wide county by county deficient bridges look up, identifying infrastructure defects in detail.  Currently, much of the planned infrastructure improvements is in limbo while the sequester is in effect.  However, our nation’s system of deficient bridges must be a priority.  Will it take another event similar to Minnesota’s I-35 bridge collapse before we fix our nation’s infrastructure?  Let’s hope not.

Your turn.  What are your thoughts about the current infrastructure of America’s roads and bridges?