Monday, March 13, 2017

AMERICA - Our Crumbling Infrastructure

"America's infrastructure receives poor assessment" PBS NewsHour 3/11/2017


SUMMARY:  The nation's infrastructure received an overall grade of D-plus in a report card published this week by the American Civil Society of Engineers, the same poor grade it issued in 2013.  With 16 categories graded, bridges, roads and dams were among those that received a low score.  The group's managing director, Casey Dinges, joined Hari Sreenivasan from Washington to explain why.

HARI SREENIVASAN, NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR:  The nation's infrastructure received an overall grade of “D- plus” in a report card published this week by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the same grade the group issued in 2013.  Among the 16 categories graded:  bridges received a “C-plus”; roads, dams and airports, a “D”; while mass transit came in with a “D-minus.”

The group's senior managing director, Casey Dinges, joins me now from Washington to explain these very low grades.

Mr. Dinges, these are not grades that we would want to see on any child's report card.  Yet, I guess we tolerate them at such crucial things as the roads and bridges we drive on and the water that we drink.

CASEY DINGES, SENIOR MANAGING DIRECTOR, AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CIVIL ENGINEERS:  I think the way the issue may play out is that the degradation is maybe so imperceptible to the public users, the traveling public you know, the water main break, even though it happens every 2 1/2 minutes in the United States, people my say, “Well, it's just not happening in my neighborhood, so I'm not thinking about it.”  Traffic congestion is a huge issue in major metropolitan areas.  Pavement issues you'll find in regions all across the country affect people, but maybe not enough to make it a top-of-mind issue.

So, at this point, we are somewhat encouraged to see presidential leadership being exerted on the infrastructure issue.  But funding is the key thing.  That would be the heavy lift for the Congress.

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