ASCE Partners for Infrastructure Law Project Map


Last week, the American Society of Civil Engineers released a new virtual map that features projects getting underway thanks to funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law. In partnership with Accelerator for America, the map arrives in time for the one year anniversary of the passing of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is improving communities large and small, but many Americans aren’t aware of how this law will impact their day-to-day lives,” said Maria Lehman, ASCE President. “This tool will show families how traffic along their morning commutes is going to be alleviated, why they’re experiencing less interruptions in energy services, or why their tap water will be safer to drink.

“Not only will these projects improve our quality of life, but we hope they also inspire the next generation of civil engineers to be a part of solving some of society’s most complex problems.”  

According to ASCE, communities in all 50 states are seeing the benefits of the bipartisan infrastructure law, as funds go towards fixing potholes, rehabilitating bridges, replacing lead pipes and cleaning up the environment.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Transportation has announced the first round of grants from the law’s competitive Bridge Investment Program and the Federal Highway Administration has released nearly $60 billion in funding for 12 formula programs under the law, in addition to awarding more than $2.2 billion for RAISE program transportation projects and $1.5 billion for the INFRA competitive grant program.

The bipartisan infrastructure law reportedly invests in all 17 of the infrastructure categories included in ASCE’s 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, with a cumulative grade of C-. The new map tool pairs with statistics from the Infrastructure Report Card, as well as testimonials from elected officials discussing the importance of the law to their city or state’s community.

According to reports, the map is part of a larger effort from ASCE to track all investments and rulemakings by infrastructure sector for their 150,000 members working in communities across the country.

Part of Accelerator for America’s United for Infrastructure #InfrastructureWorks campaign, users can explore the map by state or region, while filtering by category, to see how cities are using infrastructure funding to raise their state’s report card grade.

The bipartisan infrastructure law implementation map can be found here.

ASCE Infrastructure Report Card

Issued last year, the 2021 Infrastructure Report Card gave the nation a C- for the condition and performance of its infrastructure, a slight improvement from the 2017 report.

The ASCE also pointed out that while strides are being made in the infrastructure sector, the long-term investment gap continues to grow. Over the last 10 years alone, the gap has increased from $2.1 trillion to nearly $2.59 trillion. In its 2021 study, "Failure to Act: Economic Impacts of Status Quo Investment Across Infrastructure Systems," the ASCE predicts that by 2039, infrastructure could cost American households $3,300 a year, or $63 a week.

In analyzing the data collected, ASCE noted on three trends experienced across all 17 categories:

  • Maintenance backlogs continue to be an issue, but asset management helps prioritize limited funding. Sectors like transit and wastewater have staggering maintenance deficits, but developing a clear picture of where the available funding is most needed improves overall system performance and public safety. The drinking water sector, for example, has embraced asset management and new technology to pinpoint leaks and target repairs.
  • State and local governments have made progress. Increased federal investment or reform has also positively impacted certain categories. 37 states have raised their gas tax to fund critical transportation investments since 2010. 98% of local infrastructure ballot initiatives passed in November 2020. At least 25 major cities and states now have chief resilience officers. These improvements were made by elected officials from both sides of the aisle and with strong voter support. Meanwhile, categories like ports, drinking water, and inland waterways have been the beneficiaries of increased federal funding.
  • There are still infrastructure sectors where data is scarce or unreliable. Sectors such as school facilities, levees, and stormwater still suffer from a lack of robust condition information or inventory of assets. To target investments and allocate funding, routine, reliable data should be the standard.

Of the 17 categories making up the overall grade, 11 were in the D range, indicating “significant deterioration” and that the structures are “approaching the end of their service life.” The categories included aviation, public parks, dams, roads, schools, hazardous waste, stormwater, inland waterways, transit, levees and wastewater.

Areas receiving higher grades include bridges, which dropped from a C+ to a C in 2021, energy, drinking water and solid waste. The remaining categories: ports and rail, received a B- and B, respectively.

In expanding on the nation’s bridges specifically, of the more than 617,000, 7.5% are considered structurally deficient and nearly 42% are at least 50 years old. The ASCE also estimates that the nation’s backlog of bridge repair requires $125 billion. Additional estimates revealed that spending on bridge rehabilitation would need to increase from the current $14.4 billion annually to $22.7 billion annually, or by 58%, if conditions are to improve.

Rhode Island has the greatest percentage of structurally deficient bridges, the report notes, with 22.3% of its bridges fitting the category. Nevada and Texas tied with the smallest percentage, with just 1.3% percent of its bridges counting.

Looking at roads in the report, the D grade hadn’t changed since 2017, but notes that 43% of public roadways are in poor or mediocre condition.

Rail is the high point of the report, boasting a B grade, also unchanged from 2017. In 2018, the nation reportedly spent $24.9 billion on rail projects, averaging over $260,000 per mile. In addition to those numbers, Amtrak was reported to have spent $713 million between 2017-19 on state-of-good-repair projects.

Drinking water’s grade improved slightly from a D to a C- as well, noting that while America’s drinking water remains largely of high quality, the systems are aging and underfunded. The report also points out that by 2019, utilities were replacing between 1%-4.8% of pipelines per year on average. However, it was also estimated that more than 12,000 miles of water pipes were planned to be replaced by drinking water utilities across the country in 2020.

Wastewater infrastructure was another sector to flatline, keeping the D+ rating it received in 2017. Estimates indicate that utilities spent over $3 billion in 2019, or more than $18 per wastewater customer to replace the almost 4,700 miles of pipeline nationwide.

To view the full report, click here.


Tagged categories: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); Funding; Government; Government contracts; Infrastructure; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management

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