Business Study Ranks States’ Infrastructure

FRIDAY, JULY 21, 2023

CNBC has recently released their annual study scores for America’s Top States for Business, evaluating state infrastructure based on ten categories of competitiveness and ranking the best and worst of the year. This year, Maine took the title of state with the worst infrastructure, while Georgia took first in the list of states with the best.

Infrastructure is reportedly the second most important category under this year’s methodology, just behind Workforce. CNBC states that they consider the roads, bridges, railroads, ports, airports and utilities, also gauging the reliability of the power grid and broadband connectivity.

According to the report, President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law, signed in 2021, “could not come a moment too soon,” as roads, bridges, utilities, ports and airports across the country have been crumbling for decades.

Report Findings

The study reportedly rates the states based on sustainability, as well as which states are considered to have the most space available for development and the most population within a day’s drive.

Ranking the lowest on scale with an F grade, Maine is reported to have 14% of its bridges in poor condition and 12% of its roads in unacceptable condition.

Alaska came in second on the “worst” list, with the reseachers noting that very little landscape is available for business development, according to data from CoStar Group. The bipartisan infrastructure law aims to give $3.9 billion in total funding to the state, allocated as of June 2023, as 7% of its bridges are in poor condition and 23% of its roads are in unacceptable condition.

Mississippi follows with a reported 7% of its bridges in poor condition and 12% of roads are in unacceptable condition.

Next, New Mexico was reported to have 5% of the state’s bridges in poor condition and 9% of its roads are in unacceptable conditions. Arkansas and Louisiana tied in scores, with 5% and 12% of bridges in poor condition, respectively. Rhode Island fell at seventh place, with 16% of the state’s bridges are in poor condition, while 47% of its roads are in unacceptable condition. In 2016, it passed RhodeWorks, a $5 billion program whose goals includes bringing 90% of the state’s bridges to structural efficiency by 2025.

Hawaii, ranking eighth place on the “worst” list, reportedly has infrastructure challenges like no other state does, mainly due to its geographically isolated position. The report says that the state is in need of the $1.5 billion it is set to receive for roads and bridges over the next five years. CNBC found that 6% of the state’s bridges are in poor condition, 38% of its roads are in unacceptable condition.

Not far behind with a D- grade, New Hampshire's worst feature is considered to be its airports, while CNBC reports that 8% of the state’s bridges are in poor condition and 9% of roads are in unacceptable condition.

West Virginia is reportedly unable to take full advantage of prime locations due to 20% of its bridges being in poor condition. The U.S. Department of Transportations outlines this number as the worst in the country, in addition to 15% of its roads being in unacceptable condition.

At the top of the “best” infrastructure list, with the reported top scores for infrastructure in the country, includes:

  1. Georgia (A+); 
  2. Illinois (A);
  3. Minnesota (A-) and Tennessee (A-);
  4. Indiana (A-); 
  5. Ohio (A-);
  6. Arizona (B+); 
  7. South Carolina (B+);
  8. Nevada (B+); and
  9. Colorado, Kansas and Virginia (B).

The American Society of Civil Engineers states that the bipartisan infrastructure law is the nation’s largest across-the-board investment in infrastructure in nearly a century. According to the report, the group has been trying to draw attention to these infrastructure problems for years.

“Today, communities in all 50 states are seeing the benefits of the bipartisan infrastructure law, as funds go toward fixing potholes, rehabilitating bridges, replacing lead pipes, and cleaning up the environment,” the group said.

Recet Infrastructure Law News

In May of this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that it would add $24 million in grants to expedite delivery of transportation infrastructure projects at the local and regional levels. Issued through the Build America Bureau, the new funding would make the total investment in the Regional Infrastructure Accelerators Program to $34 million.

According to the release, the Bureau issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity for grant applications to designate “Accelerators” that would serve defined geographic areas, provide technical resources, and fund planning and development activities to expedite project delivery.

Then, later that same month, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a new set of plans to pass as a part of bipartisan permitting reform legislation. The plans arrived almost one year after the White House's Permitting Action Plan was released.

In June, the White House unveiled a new interactive website that showcases about 32,000 infrastructure projects that are underway thanks to the Investing in America Agenda. The map reportedly illustrates the impact of the “record-breaking levels” of public and private investment across states and territories. 

The agenda included investments from President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law, as well as private sector investments mobilized by the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS and Science Act and the American Rescue Plan.

Users on the site can look at a national map or scroll through projects by state, including documents for private investments of more than $100 million. It also reportedly provides additional economic data and details at the state level.

According to the White House, the website will be updated regularly to reflect recent investments, projects and announcements. Additionally, later this month, a second installment of the Investing in America tour will take place with members of the Biden Administration.

Later that month, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation is now accepting applications for up to $5.575 billion in funding for projects of regional or national significance. 

The funding is reportedly part of the bipartisan infrastructure law and will work to support three major discretionary grant programs involving surface transportation projects “designed to strengthen supply chains, spur economic development, and improve safety and daily life.”



Tagged categories: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); Bridges; Bridges; Engineers; Government; Health & Safety; Infrastructure; Infrastructure; NA; North America; President Biden; Program/Project Management; Quality Control; Research; Research and development; Roads/Highways

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