The United States’ roads are crumbling. Bridges are collapsing. Aging pipes are leaching lead and other chemicals into residents’ drinking water. Sewage pipes are backing up and polluting neighborhoods. Traffic congestion is getting worse every year, damaging the lungs and well-being of surrounding communities. Taking these bleak conditions into account, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gives U.S. infrastructure a D+ rating.
And as the ASCE’s 2016 Failure to Act report reveals, these infrastructure and health conditions will both get much worse without a significant influx of funding.
With the current state of the infrastructure left as is, the ASCE expects a major hit to jobs, business sales, and the GDP by 2025, leaving households to take on an extra cost of $3400 per year. This would put a further strain on families’ abilities to prioritize health care and insurance costs.
Public health leaders have called for policymakers to act (see Julie Gerberding and Mary Woolley’s November 2016 debate on PHP). President Trump has promised investment in infrastructure throughout his campaign. This is an issue that could generate significant bi-partisan support in Congress and across the country. It’s time to get building.
Databyte (detail) and photo via Failure to Act: Closing the Infrastructure Investment Gap for America’s Economic Future. American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).