US Infrastructure Report Card: “D”

Yesterday on XM Sirius, we discussed Infrastructure.

One of the callers was a civil engineer who suggested we take a look at the US Infrastructure Report Card (, which grade the US on a variety of factors. The 2009 Grades include: Aviation (D), Bridges (C), Dams (D), Drinking Water (D-), Energy (D+), Hazardous Waste (D), Inland Waterways (D-), Levees (D-), Public Parks and Recreation (C-), Rail (C-), Roads (D-), Schools (D), Solid Waste (C+), Transit (D), and Wastewater (D-).

Overall, America’s Infrastructure GPA was graded a “D.” To get to an “A” requires a 5 year infrastructure investment of $2.2 Trillion dollars. Hence, you can understand if I am underwhelmed by the latest $50B proposal.

Each individual state is also graded; NY’s is after the jump.


click for interactive site

Lets use New York State as an example to see key infrastructure ratings:

• 42% of New York’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

• There are 391 high hazard dams in New York. A high hazard dam is defined as a dam whose failure would cause a loss of life and significant property damage.
48 of New York’s 5,089 dams are in need of rehabilitation to meet applicable state dam safety standards.
• 36% of high hazard dams in New York have no emergency action plan (EAP). An EAP is a predetermined plan of action to be taken including roles, responsibilities and procedures for surveillance, notification and evacuation to reduce the potential for loss of life and property damage in an area affected by a failure or mis-operation of a dam.
• New York’s drinking water infrastructure needs an investment of $14.81 billion over the next 20 years.
• New York ranked 6th in the quantity of hazardous waste produced and 2nd in the total number of hazardous waste producers.
• New York’s ports handled 96 million tons of waterborne traffic in 2005, ranking it 11th in the nation.
• New York reported an unmet need of $707 million for its state public outdoor recreation facilities and parkland acquisition.
• 46% of New York’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
• 45% of New York’s major urban highways are congested.
• Vehicle travel on New York’s highways increased 41% from 1990 to 2007.
• New York has $21.82 billion in wastewater infrastructure needs.

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