Report: Michigan scores D+ for infrastructure
- The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Michigan Section, in its 2018 Report Card for Michigan's Infrastructure, gave the state a score of D+.
- The society ranked the state's infrastructure in 13 categories, and roads (D-) and stormwater systems (D-) scored the lowest. The highest score was a C+ for the state's solid waste capabilities. The ASCE also gave the state a C in aviation, navigation and wastewater; a C- for bridges, dams, energy, rail and transit; a D+ for schools and a D for drinking water. ASCE Michigan Section officials said at a press conference this week that even though the score improved slightly from a D in the last report in 2009, the condition of the state's infrastructure had not really changed, according to MLive.
- The group suggested that Michigan state officials focus on gathering high-quality data about infrastructure; implementing new asset management practices; increasing state funding for infrastructure and putting a priority on public health and safety. The ASCE also suggested that members of the public educate themselves about infrastructure so that they can communicate with lawmakers about the greatest areas of need.
The lowest-scoring category was transit with a D- but scoring the highest was rail with a B. In ASCE's estimation it would take $4.6 trillion to make all the necessary repairs and upgrades, $1 trillion more than was cited the group's 2013 report.
Another group that assesses the condition of U.S. infrastructure is the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). In its latest report earlier this year, based on U.S. Department of Transportation data, ARTBA said that 9% of the country's 612,677 bridges are structurally deficient. The bridges in the worst condition are approximately 25 years past their useful lives, and 30% of all bridges need some kind of repair. ARTBA said the state of U.S. bridges is indicative of the kind of infrastructure that causes traffic bottlenecks throughout America's road and highways, costing the trucking industry $60 billion a year and raising consumer prices.
Interestingly, the RAND Corp. issued a report at the end of last year that flew in the face of what taxpayers typically hear about U.S. infrastructure. Researchers said that the nation's infrastructure needs maintenance, but the situation is not that dire. Rand's report said only a portion of infrastructure is in a significant state of disrepair and that government funding for what is needed has not dropped substantially.
- American Society of Civil Engineers Michigan Section 2018 Report Card for Michigan's Infrastructure
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