The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has released its 2017 “infrastructure report card” Thursday, giving the country’s overall infrastructure a grade of D+. In other words, engineers agree that the nation’s infrastructure is in a bad condition.
ASCE Executive Director Tom Smith explained that the unwillingness to invest in infrastructure is a serious burden on the economy, and failure to fix the infrastructure system is outing American jobs and lives at risk. “Unfortunately, we have a tendency to wait for disasters and be reactive, and what we want to do is be proactive and not reactive… Because when we’re reactive, it ends up costing significantly more than when we’re proactive.” Smith said, reported by NPR.
The signals coming from the new presidential administration regarding this issue have been mixed. The Trump administration promised a $1 trillion budget to improve the crumbling infrastructure, a proposition on which Trump officials can work with Democrats, who vigorously support an infrastructure investment. The report indicates however, that it will not be enough. According to the engineers it will take $4.6 trillion over the next eight years to fix all the systems, until an acceptable standard is reached.
The ASCE President Norma Jean Mattei also commented, “We need our elected leaders … to follow through on those promises with investment and innovative solutions that will ensure our infrastructure is built for the future.”