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Civil Engineers giving U.S. Low Grade in Infrastructure

February 14th, 2014

The United States needs to upgrade its infrastructure and fast. That’s the opinion of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The ASCE feels this country’s infrastructure is actually close to an overall failure.

This infrastructure, according to ASCE, includes roads, bridges, rail, drinking water, waste water, solid waste, and other facilities. Its importance to the quality of life in the United States cannot be overstated.

ASCE Provides an Infrastructure Grade every Four Years

ASCE releases its grades of U.S. infrastructure once every four years. While the 2013 grade of D+ is a slight improvement over the D received in 2009, this isn’t really a reason to celebrate or take an early summer vacation. The country’s infrastructure has averaged around a D grade since the mid 90s, primarily due to a lack of investment and delayed maintenance work.

Eight categories make up the ASCE infrastructure grade. These include capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation, maintenance, public safety, resilience and innovation. Solid waste earned the best grade in the current report card: a B-, while inland waterways and levees brought up the rear with a D-.

A Backlog of Maintenance Needs Funding

The ASCE study noted that new recurring methods of funding the nation’s infrastructure needs are vital for improving the grade. With proper funding, the pressing maintenance backlog can be lessened while also implementing long overdue modernization projects.

City and State level funding helped to improve the nation’s bridges grade, and private investment, enhancing overall efficiency and connectivity, improved the railway infrastructure across the nation.

The ASCE report concluded: “Infrastructure is also critical for long-term economic growth, increasing GDP, employment, household income, and exports. The reverse is also true – without prioritizing our nation’s infrastructure needs, deteriorating conditions can become a drag on the economy.

“For the U.S. economy to be the most competitive in the world, we need a first class infrastructure system.”

If working on the nation’s infrastructure needs inspired you to become a civil engineer, talk to engineering staffing experts at The Talley Group. As one of the leading leading recruiters for civil engineering jobs in Seattle, they can help you, your career, and possibly the country’s roads and bridges. Schedule some time with them today.

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