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America's GPA: D+
Estimated Investment Needed by 2020:
$3.6 Trillion

Our New Video: The high price we pay for inadequate infrastructure

July 6th, 2016 | By: Becky Moylan

As we shared in May, underinvesting in infrastructure comes at a high cost. It costs each family $9 a day. That adds up to $3,400 a year, according to our Failure to Act economic study. Watch the video below to find out more about how inadequate infrastructure costs you. And, more importantly, what we can do about it.

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Infrastructure Week Events to Check Out

May 12th, 2016 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card

There’s a great line up of events happening for Infrastructure Week! See what’s happening near you!

Infrastructure Week Calendar of Events

Saturday, May 14 Event Location Organizer
9:30 am – 12:00 pm WTS-DC: Complete Streets Bike Tour of Arlington, VA Arlington VA Women’s Transportation Seminar – DC Chapter
10:00 am – 5:00 pm Boston Infrastructure Day: Holyoke’s Great Stone Dam and Canals Boston MA Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section
Monday, May 16 Event Location Organizer
8:00 am – 10:45 am Infrastructure Week Kickoff Event Washington D.C. Infrastructure Week Steering Committee
8:00 am – 9:00 am VOW Local Innovators Tour: Sewer Walk: Up Close and Personal Cleveland OH Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District
8:00 am – 9:00 am VOW Local Innovators Tour: Virtual Tour of Virginia Initiative Plant Nutrient Reduction Improvement Project Norfolk VA HRSD, Value of Water Coalition
11:00 am – 12:00 pm National League of Cities Press Call and Report Launch: Paying for Infrastructure in a New Era of Federalism Online Webinar National League of Cities
11:00 am – 12:00 pm VOW Local Innovators Tour: Bridge Street Pump Station Groundbreaking Ceremony Hampton VA HRSD, Value of Water Coalition
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Bipartisan Policy Center Executive Council on Infrastructure: Bridging the Gap Together: A New Model to Modernize U.S. Infrastructure Washington D.C. Bipartisan Policy Center
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm ONLINE WEBINAR: Opportunities in Expanding Access to Broadband for Local Leaders Online Webinar National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, National Telecommunications and Information Administration
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Cheaper, Safer Faster: How Disruptive Technologies are Changing How We Build and Operate Infrastructure Washington D.C. Eno Center for Transportation
Tuesday, May 17 Event Location Organizer
8:00 am – 4:00 pm ASCE Infrastructure Day at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Harrisburg PA ASCE PA Section
9:00 am – 3:00 pm I-49 South Day in the Louisiana State Capitol Baton Rouge I-49 South Coalition
9:30 am – 11:30 am How Tampa is Driving the Future of Transportation Tampa FL Building America’s Future, HNTB Companies
11:00 am – 12:00 pm VOW Local Innovators Tour: Press Event: A Public-Private Partnership to Improve Water and Wastewater Services Camden NJ American Water, City of Camden, Value of Water Coalition
11:30 am – 1:30 pm Infrastructure Week 2016 Capitol Hill Roundtable and Luncheon: A Vision for U.S. Infrastructure in the Year 2050 and the Path Forward Washington D.C. Association of Equipment Manufacturers
11:30 am – 2:30 pm VOW Local Innovators Tour: AlexRenew Innovation Tours Alexandria VA Alexandria Renew Enterprises, Value of Water Coalition
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm MEMA Autonomous Vehicle Ride and Drive Washington D.C. Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Optimizing U.S. Infrastructure Investment Policy Options for the 2017 Presidential Transition Washington D.C. National Academy of Public Administration
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm ONLINE WEBINAR: Historical Life Cycle Costs of Steel and Concrete Girder Bridges Online Webinar American Iron and Steel Institute
5:30 pm – 8:30 pm Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure Happy Hour Washington D.C. Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure
Wednesday, May 18 Event Location Organizer
7:40 am – 10:40 pm Women’s Transportation Seminar International – Annual Conference Austin TX Women’s Transportation Seminar International
8:00 am – 4:00 pm U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Supply Chain Summit Washington D.C. U.S. Chamber of Commerce
8:00 am – 5:00 pm International Conference on Sustainable Design, Engineering and Construction Tempe AZ Arizona State University, ASCE Architectural Engineering Institute
8:00 am – 5:00 pm ASCE Engineers Legislative Day in Sacramento, CA Sacramento CA American Society of Civil Engineers
8:45 am – 5:00 pm Infrastructure Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill Washington D.C. Infrastructure Week Steering Committee
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm MEMA Autonomous Vehicle Ride and Drive Washington D.C. Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm #InfrastructureMatters to America’s Economy: Advocacy Day Press Luncheon and ASCE Report Briefing Washington D.C. American Society of Civil Engineers, Infrastructure Week Steering Committee
5:30 pm – 8:00 pm Infrastructure Week Reception Washington D.C. Infrastructure Week Steering Committee, Value of Water Coalition
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm Film Screening: Bikes vs. Cars Washington D.C. American Planning Association
Thursday, May 19 Event Location Organizer
8:00 am – 11:45 am Council of State Governments Transportation Policy Roundtable Washington D.C. Council of State Governments
8:00 am – 10:30 am Bloomberg Presents: The Future of Cities Washington D.C. Bloomberg Government, Siemens
8:30 am – 9:30 am VOW Local Innovators Tour: Green Infrastructure Tour Cleveland OH Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Value of Water Coalition
8:30 am – 9:30 am VOW Local Innovators Tour: AlexRenew Innovative Facilities Tour for Elected Officials Alexandria VA AlexRenew
8:35 am – 4:05 pm Resilient Infrastructure in the Age of Climate Change Pittsburgh PA ASCE Pittsburgh Section, Champions for Sustainability, Environmental and Water Resource Institute – Pittsburgh Section, Sustainable Pittsburgh
9:00 am – 12:30 pm How Faster Infrastructure Approvals Can Get America Moving Again Washington D.C. Common Good, Covington and Burling LLP, Progressive Policy Institute
10:30 am – 1:00 pm VOW Local Innovators Tour: AlexRenew Innovation Tours Alexandria VA Alexandria Renew Enterprises, Value of Water Coalition
11:00 am – 12:00 pm The Current State of the Nation’s Aging Public Transportation Infrastructure: Nationwide Press Conference Call PRESS CONFERENCE CALL American Public Transportation Association
1:45 pm – 4:00 pm Delivering the Goods: Recommendations for Funding a Federal Freight Program Washington D.C. Eno Center for Transportation
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Congressional Briefing for State Legislators Washington D.C. Council of State Governments, National Association of Counties
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm Securing Our Water Future: 21st Century Solutions for 21st Century Cities Washington D.C. National League of Cities, Value of Water Coalition
5:30 pm – 9:30 pm ASCE San Diego Outstanding Civil Engineering Awards San Diego CA ASCE San Diego Section
5:30 pm – 8:30 pm Nouveau Corp Infrastructure Happy Hour Washington D.C. Nouveau Corp
Friday, May 20 Event Location Organizer
8:00 am – 12:00 pm Transit Oriented Development Panel and Walking Tour of Capitol Riverfront Washington D.C. Council of State Governments
8:00 am – 2:00 pm A New Focus for Growth around the Commonwealth Boston MA Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section
9:00 am – 12:00 pm Sewer U: Seminars, Lab, and Tours Cleveland OH Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Value of Water Coalition
9:00 am – 10:30 am Building Out America’s Digital Infrastructure for the 21st Century Economy Washington D.C. Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Juneau, AK Port Tour and New Cruise Ship Dock Celebration Juneau AK American Society of Civil Engineers, City of Juneau Docks and Harbors
Saturday, May 21 Event Location Organizer
9:00 am – 12:00 pm VOW Local Innovators Tour: Recovering Resources, Transforming Water: Open House and Tour Chicago IL Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, Value of Water Coalition
Monday, May 23 Event Location Organizer
7:30 am – 5:30 pm Symposium for Sustainable Infrastructure: Integrating Sustainability into Infrastructure Development Boulder CO ASCE Colorado Section, University of Colorado at Boulder
7:30 am – 9:00 pm Engineering Mechanics Institute Conference and Probabilistic Mechanics and Reliability Conference 2016 Nashville TN ASCE Engineering Mechanics Institute, ASCE Infrastructure Resilience, ASCE Structural Engineering Institute, U.S. Association for Computational Mechanics
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm Mobility 2050: A Vision for Transportation Infrastructure and How We Can Get There Evanston IL Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Northwestern University
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm Beyond the Runway Coalition: Airport Finance – A Free Market Approach, and Airports as Economics Engines Washington D.C. Airports Council International – North America
Wednesday, May 25 Event Location Organizer
10:30 am – 12:00 pm Ribbon Cutting and Tour of the World’s Largest Nutrient Recovery Plant Chicago IL Metropolit

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The High Cost of Underinvesting in Infrastructure: $9 a day

May 10th, 2016 | By: Becky Moylan

fta 2016Today’s release of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Failure to Act: Closing the Investment Gap for America’s Economic Future reveals that inadequate infrastructure is costing every American family $3,400 a year in disposable income. The economic study, an update to the initial series ASCE released prior to the 2013 Report Card, identifies the 10-year needs across 10 categories of infrastructure is $3.3 trillion, including a $1.4 trillion investment gap. The $1.4 trillion investment gap comprises:
  • $1.1 trillion throughout the surface transportation network including roads, bridges, transit, and commuter rail.
  • Electricity infrastructure requires an additional $177 billion.
  • The third highest investment gap is $105 billion for water and wastewater infrastructure. 
  • Airports, including the highly anticipated NextGen technology upgrade, require an added $42 billion.
  • America’s inland waterways and ports need an additional $15 billion to close their funding gap.
Our overdue infrastructure bill is costing us time and money. The report identifies the following economic ramifications:
  • $3.9 trillion in GDP, more than the 2013 GDP of Germany
  • $7 trillion of business sales
  • 2.5 million job losses in the year 2025
  • $3,400 in a family’s annual disposable income each year from 2016 to 2025, equal to $9.33 a day.
These findings underscore the findings of the initial Failure to Act series, showing the economic benefits of infrastructure investment reverberate through every sector of the economy, while the economic losses that come from deferred investment also become worse over time. Furthermore, the longer we delay the more likely we are to need to replace the infrastructure rather than repair it. America is currently spending more failing to act on our investment gap then we would to close it. Inefficient infrastructure is costing every household $9.30 a day. However, if every family instead invested an additional $3 a day per household, we could close the infrastructure investment gap in 10 years. By increasing the investment by $144 billion a year for the next 10 years at the federal, state and local levels, we can upgrade our infrastructure, and protect our GDP, jobs, families’ disposable income and our nation’s competitiveness.


Infrastructure This Week

October 11th, 2013 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card

The government shutdown continues to loom over our nation’s infrastructure, causing uncertainty, hurting key services, and further showing the costs of Congressional intransigence. Much like the government itself, our infrastructure has to get out of the short-term mindset, and start planning for long-term growth. Only then will we find success. The good news is businesses and local leaders are starting to feel the costs of under-investment, and are contemplating ways to plan for future growth. Talk to you next week!    

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ASCE President: Our nation’s infrastructure depends on public and private investment to thrive

August 13th, 2013 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card

On August 5, 2013, the Wall Street Journal ran an op-ed that argued against the merits of public investment in infrastructure. The following is a response from ASCE President Greg DiLoreto: Our nation’s infrastructure depends on public and private investment to thrive Larry Schweikart and Burton Folsom’s editorial (Obama’s False History of Public Investment, Aug. 6, 2013, page A13) misses a critical point. While entrepreneurs can often drive infrastructure investment, we need both the private and public sectors to play key roles in building and maintaining America’s infrastructure. Our national highway system comprises just 4 percent of all U.S. roads, yet it revolutionized and created entire industries. Today, 40 percent of all highway traffic occurs on this system, 75 percent of heavy truck traffic and 90 percent of tourist traffic. Imagine Amazon or Coca-Cola unable to move goods easily across states. While much of this massive undertaking was planned and funded by the public sector, many private sector firms were hired to execute the work.  This critical road system created jobs in the short-term and spurred long-term economic growth. Economic growth necessitates a well-functioning, well-connected infrastructure network.  ASCE’s recent economic studies found that if the nation continues to invest at the same meager levels in infrastructure, we will see a drop of $3.1 trillion in GDP by 2020 due to the ripple effect deficient infrastructure has on our nation’s economy. Past generations recognized that infrastructure was essential to interstate commerce and a healthy economy. After World War II, Americans built the nation we know today by investing in their communities. Now that bill is coming due. We must modernize and maintain the system we have to keep America at the forefront in order to continue building a strong economic recovery. Gregory DiLoreto, P.E., P.L.S, D.WRE President, American Society of Civil Engineers  

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Obama Proposes Plan for Infrastructure Funding

July 30th, 2013 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card

President Obama today gave another in his series of economic speeches at an Amazon distribution center in Tennessee to propose a cut in corporate tax rates in return for a commitment from Republicans to invest more in programs spurring middle-class jobs.  As stewards of our nation’s infrastructure, the ASCE is encouraged by President Obama’s proposal to direct money from a corporate tax overhaul to help fund America’s infrastructure projects. However, while emphasizing the need to reduce the backlog of deferred maintenance on highways, bridges, transit systems, and airports nationwide is an important message to come from the President, the message alone will not fix the nation’s infrastructure problems.   ASCE President, Gregory E. DiLoreto, P.E., P.L.S, D.WRE, released the following statement in response to the President Obama’s remarks: “As stewards of our nation’s infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers applauds President Obama’s proposal to direct money from a corporate tax overhaul to help fund America’s infrastructure projects, with an emphasis on reducing the backlog of deferred maintenance on highways, bridges, transit systems, and airports nationwide. Infrastructure is the foundation of our communities, and without it, our businesses, schools, and our everyday lives suffer. “The time to act is now.  It’s critical that the administration and congressional leaders put forth a clear, actionable road map with long-term funding solutions.  Leaders from all parties must come together to invest in America’s future to assure we have a strong foundation for an ever-changing 21st century economy.   “The President has said on more than one occasion that we have an ‘aging infrastructure badly in need of repair.’ Despite this statement, little has been done since the president announced his ‘Fix-It-First’ plan to rebuild America in his State of the Union address earlier this year.  Simply put, we must invest in our roads, bridges, ports, and water systems. This will help us build a 21st Century America to compete in an ever-changing global economy. “In ASCE’s 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, a comprehensive assessment of the nation’s infrastructure across 16 sectors, the nation’s cumulative GPA for infrastructure received a grade of D+.  The 2013 Report Card estimates total investment needs at $3.6 trillion by 2020 across all 16 sectors, leaving a funding shortfall of $1.6 trillion based on current funding levels. “Private investment along with political leadership can help our nation grow and create much needed jobs. First class roads, bridges, and ports will lead to first class jobs, homes, and lives for American families. Yet rebuilding our nation’s roads, bridges, and water systems is not enough. We must have long-term plans for maintenance and repair, sustainable funding mechanisms that assure reliability, and the political leadership to invest in our own communities.”

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Can-Do States Who Tackle Infrastructure Are Just What the U.S. Economy Needs

July 24th, 2013 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card

Sometimes you just have to do it yourself. That’s the message some states seem to be sending as federal infrastructure bills like the Water Resources Development Act keep getting sidelined by Congress or only seeing short-term efforts like the MAP-21 Transportation Reauthorization. The Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings has called these states that have decidedly put forward a structure or action plan for infrastructure “Can-Do States” and highlighted these states’ efforts at a recent event. These “Can-Do States” have formed new structures that operate in ways that improve their state’s access to capital or work across departments to streamline and prioritize investments. What are these states doing differently?  Start by looking at these models – the government-owned business enterprise model like Colorado’s High Performance Transportation Enterprise , or the offices for public private partnerships like Virginia that work to put together infrastructure financing deals, or initiatives like the NY Works Task Force that are used to streamline and strategically allocate New York’s capital investment dollars. According to a new report by McKinsey, infrastructure investment is one of five big “game changers” that could reboot the U.S. economy to quickly create jobs and deliver a substantial boost to GDP by 2020. They believe that increasing the U.S. annual infrastructure investment by one percentage point of GDP could erase the negative side effects of delayed maintenance, and create up to 1.8 million jobs by 2020. With states already taking the lead on reworking their infrastructure strategies to better select, deliver, and operate like McKinsey’s advising, that 1% of GDP investment could create $600 billion annually by 2030. Infrastructure may be just what every state and the whole U.S. economy needs to really grow again. What could your state do to get more infrastructure investment done with the same budget?

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The Panama Canal Expansion and Commerce

April 10th, 2013 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a hearing this afternoon on the expansion of the Panama Canal and the effects that the expansion will have on freight movement in the United States. The issue is one that ASCE has been discussing in depth over the past few months, because the economic impacts could be severe. During the hearing Chairman Jay Rockefeller strongly stated that the United States has “grown accustomed to an ad-hoc approach to maintaining our surface transportation network”.  He went on further to state that “this lack of planning and shortsighted thinking doesn’t reflect what our country truly needs: A strategic, long-term vision for rebuilding our transportation system.” Rockefeller finished his opening remarks declaring that without a vision and the ability to make tough choices, that the U.S. will end up burdened with “inadequate infrastructure” as the rest of the world continues investing. With the scheduled expansion of the Panama Canal by 2015, the average size of container ships is likely to increase significantly, affecting the operations at most of the major U.S. ports that handle containerized cargo and requiring both sectors to modernize.  Needed investment in marine ports includes harbor and channel dredging, while inland waterways require new or rehabilitated lock and dam facilities. To remain competitive on a global scale, U.S. marine ports and inland waterways will require investment in the coming decades beyond the $14.4 billion currently expected. ASCE reports that with an additional investment of $15.8 billion between now and 2020, the U.S. can eliminate this drag on economic growth and protect:
  • $270 billion in U.S. exports
  • $697 billion in GDP
  • 738,000 jobs in 2020
  • $872 billion in personal income, or $770 per year for households
Unless America’s infrastructure investment gaps are filled, transporting goods will become costlier, prices will rise, and the United States will become less competitive in the global market. As a result, employment, personal income, and GDP will all fall due to inaction. ASCE’s full statement for the record can be seen here.

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House and Senate Pass Budget Resolutions for 2014

April 2nd, 2013 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card


Capitol (Photo credit: rpongsaj)

The Senate passed a budget resolution for the first time in four years on March 23 that calls for reducing the federal deficit by $1.85 trillion over 10 years.  The Senate also approved provisions in the resolution for Fiscal year 2014 that would restore the $85 billion cut from the Fiscal Year 2013 budget under the sequestration order issued by the White House this month. After 13 hours of voting on various amendments and early-morning deal brokering in response to frustrated Republicans, the Senate voted to pass the budget by a close 50-49 vote. The resolution is not legally binding but only serves as a guide to the Senate Appropriations Committee, which must begin writing legislation to fund federal agencies for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2013. Keeping in line with earlier draft language, Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) was able to retain a $100 billion jobs and infrastructure package in the fiscal 2014 budget, which includes a $50 billion infusion to fix the nation’s most deficient bridges, airports and transit systems, keeping in line with President Obama’s fix it first concept for infrastructure investment. “The Senate budget tackles our deficit and debt the way the American people have told us they want it done: with a balanced mix of responsible spending cuts and new revenue from the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations,” the budget document said. The House passed Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget earlier in March. The budget passed with a vote of 221-207. Instead of calling for an overhaul in how we fund infrastructure, the Ryan budget intends for the federal government to only spend what the gas tax brings in rather than continue to supplement the Highway Trust Fund with general fund transfers. This direction would effectively cut about a third of federal government spending on surface transportation. Currently, the gap between what gets spent out of the Highway Trust Fund and what the trust fund brings in is around $15 billion a year. The House budget also identifies the U.S. Department of Transportation as a department that offers “a number of areas where spending could be cut back responsibly.” It goes on further to state that the federal formula for spending on surface transportation is “distorted, leading to imprudent, irresponsible and often downright wasteful spending.” The House Budget Resolution can be seen here. The Senate Budget Resolution can be seen here.
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Sections and Branches Lead the Way on the 2013 Report Card

March 29th, 2013 | By: America's Infrastructure Report Card

This March, ASCE released the 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure in a brand new format as a tablet and smart phone app during the annual Congressional Fly-In. ASCE members from all 50 states participated in taking the infrastructure message to Capitol Hill and shared the Report Card with their Members of Congress. Members have also been actively continuing to share the Report Card in their local areas by:
  • Assisting as spokespeople with TV and newspaper interviews like KARE in Minnesota and KIRO in Seattle
  • Updating their State Report Cards in 19 states so that local information is available for policymakers and the public
  • Working with ASCE to write op-eds and letters to the editor about local or state infrastructure like in the Tennessean and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • Updating their websites to include links to the Report Card website and their State and Regional Report Cards
As one of our three key initiatives, ASCE is continually working to raise awareness about the need for infrastructure investment and renewal. The Report Card is a key tool you can use to start conversations with policy makers and the public about infrastructure needs in your community.  Every Section and Branch can take advantage of resources and opportunities to take the message to their area:
  1. At your next meeting, discuss how your Section can use the Report Card to highlight pressing issues in your state or region, and let us know how we can help. The ASCE team who puts together the Report Card is available to answer your questions and work with you on using the message to start conversations at the state and local level so email us at reportcard@asce.org.
  2. Ask your Board to share the Report Card with their professional networks like LinkedIn and social networks like Facebook with a short story about the infrastructure problems they tackle every day in their jobs.
  3. Hold an infrastructure solutions event with other infrastructure stakeholders in your area or have a Section program featuring one of the Report Card Success Story winners from your area; tips and best practices for these events are available on the Report Card Outreach Toolkit.
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