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American Society of Civil Engineers Gives U.S. Road and Bridge Infrastructure Low Grades

March 25, 2013

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has released its 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, which rates the United States’ infrastructure across 16 sectors. In the transportation sector, ASCE gave U.S. bridges a rating of C+ and roads a D rating.

For bridges, ASCE said there are fewer structurally deficient bridges in the U.S. but that one in nine is still rated as structurally deficient, and that the number of bridges with issues in urban areas is rising.

The State of Pennsylvania has the highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges, at 24.4%, and Iowa and Oklahoma are tied for second, at 21%. The District of Columbia, however, has 77% of bridges that are both functionally obsolete and structurally deficient (185 out of 239 bridges). The average age of the country's bridges has dropped slightly since 2009, from 43 years to 42 years in 2013.

For U.S. roads, ASCE said roads improved to a rating of D, compared to last year, but that U.S. highways still face a 42% congestion rate, which the organization said costs the U.S. economy an estimated $101 billion annually in wasted time and fuel.

The report said that 32% of major roads in the U.S. are in poor or mediocre condition, which costs U.S. motorists traveling on deficient road surfaces $67 billion per year, roughly $324 per motorist, in additional repairs and operating costs. The report also found that roadway conditions are a significant factor in approximately one-third of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. 

You can view the complete report here.

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