10 Signs That US Infrastructure Is A Disaster

The American Society of Civil Engineers released its annual infrastructure report card this week, and the prognosis for the country’s roads, bridges, and public facilities isn’t good.

America’s infrastructure has been in bad shape for years, and things don’t seem like they will get better anytime soon. Of the 16 categories ASCE graded, all but one got Cs and Ds.

Below is a list of facts from the report that show just how bad things have gotten:

1 in 9 of the country’s bridges are rated as structurally deficient, meaning they require significant maintenance, rehabilitation, or replacement. 

Washington bridge collapse

Of the 84,000 dams in the U.S., 14,000 are considered “high hazard” and 4,000 are deficient. It would cost $21 billion to repair these ageing dams.

Crab Orchard DamCrab Orchard Dam in Illinois

42% of the country’s major urban highways are considered congested, and 32% of major roads in the U.S. are in poor or mediocre condition.

Even though a third of Americans don’t drive cars, 45% of households lack access to transit. 

There are 240,000 water main breaks in the U.S. each year, and many water mains and pipes are over 100 years old.

Water main break NYC

The Federal Aviation Administration anticipates that the national cost of airport congestion and delays will nearly double from $34 billion in 2020 to $63 billion in 2040.

Denver airport

90% of locks and dams experienced an unscheduled delay or service interruption in 2009. Barges being stopped for hours can prolong transport of goods and drive up prices.

McAlpine Locks and Dam

Congestion on rail lines is costing the U.S. economy about $200 billion a year, or 1.6% of economic output.

csx coal railroad train

Although public school enrollment is gradually increasing, national spending on school construction declined to $10 billion in 2012, about half of what was spent before the recession.

School

National Park Service facilities saw 279 million visits in 2011 and has a deferred maintenance backlog of $11 billion.

Arlington County park

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