Nation's Roads Get a D- on 2017 American Infrastructure Report Card
Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) releases its American Infrastructure Report Card which provides a comprehensive look into every aspect of our nation's infrastructure; including its current condition, needed investment for upgrades, and its impact on citizens and commerce. In the 2013 report, the country's infrastructure received a grade of D+ overall. Four years later, our grade is still slipping – coming in at a D in the latest 2017 report. Roadways, specifically, scored a D- on this year's report card based on safety, condition, capacity, and congestion.
The Cost of Improvement
According to ASCE, $420 billion in additional investment is needed to adequately support the nation's growing population and trade economy with safe, reliable highways. During his campaign, President Trump championed infrastructure and public works projects as major sources of new job creation and economic growth and laid out a plan for $1 trillion in public/private infrastructure spending in his 2018 budget request. Meanwhile, several states have taken the action of raising fuel and diesel taxes to help fund highway infrastructure improvements. Notably, South Carolina's state legislature overrode a veto from its governor to increase its fuel tax. Tennessee and California have passed steep increases in fuel tax rates. Pennsylvania and Michigan implemented significant increases in fuel tax rates earlier this year; and Georgia, Nebraska, North Carolina, Indiana, and Florida have passed smaller increases. Additionally, several other states have proposed bills for fuel tax increases.
What You Can Do
As a driver, carrier, or shipper, you and your business are directly impacted by deteriorated infrastructure. Contact your Congressional representatives to share your opinions on road and bridge conditions, safety, and regulations. Use the Congressional directory to find your Congressional representatives’ contact information. U.S. highways and interstates are integral to continued interstate commerce and transportation. Let your voice be heard in support of maintaining the safe functioning of the national highway system.