November 23, 2017

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America’s Infrastructure In 2009: Grade “F”

In 2005, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) came out with a report card on America’s Infrastructure. The overall grade from the 2005 report was D, down from a D+ in 2001. William Henry, president of the ASCE, said; “Since the time our infrastructure was last graded in 2001, there has been little or no improvement in any of the 12 infrastructure categories.

Here is the 2005 Report Card on the 12 categories:

Aviation — D+

Bridges — C

Dams — D

Drinking water — D-

Energy — D

Hazardous waste — D

Navigable waterways — D-

Public parks — C-

Rail — C-

Roads — D

Schools — D

Solid waste — C+

Transit — D+

Wastewater — D-

SOURCE: American Society of Civil Engineers

There’s a game that I played years ago called Sim City. The basis for Sim City is managing local government. The objective of the game is to use your decision making skills to build a city and manage the city as potential disasters and other problems arise. Some schools, such as Auburn University use Sim City to teach students systems thinking, problem-solving skills and “craft” in the planning profession.

I remember in playing this game that if I concentrated on one aspect of planning and neglected others, there were consequences, sometimes severe consequences. This leads to our current situation here in America. For now, our nation’s leaders (Congress and the President) are spending their time waging undeclared wars where the cost to pay for said wars aren’t even included in the budget deficit figures.

So when will our leaders decide that our own nation needs some TLC and leave other nations to depend upon their own people to survive? The answer will probably be found when the next bridge collapses or the water situation hits crisis level. A “D-” for drinking water? Are you kidding me?

Our leaders are reactive, not proactive. The only thing that they are leaders of is the march towards the destruction of America as we know it! They would lose every game of Sim City they ever played. If only there were no consequences.

The next ASCE report card is due out in 2009. I can only imagine what further deterioration will have occurred. Can the grade of “F” be too far off? If your child receives these types of grades, are you proud of them? No! You do what you can to fix the problem by paying more attention to what is causing it!

What’s causing our problems in America? We need $1.6 trillion over the next 5 years to fix our infrastructure. Where will that money come from? Is it in the current budget? Will war with Iran make things better or worse? Does Congress even ask these types of questions?

So to pay for the repairing of infrastructure, congress can only do one of two things; raise taxes or print more money (the hidden tax called inflation).

Either way, you will pay more for everything.

You’ll find out what’s going on with your state’s infrastructure here.

Doug Eberhardt

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