ASCE finds infrastructure underinvestment to cost U.S. families $3,400 a year

Credit: Wikipedia CommonsCredit: Wikipedia Commons

A new report by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) says weak infrastructure investment in the U.S. will cost the nation’s families $3,400 per year for the next 10 years in lost time, inconveniences and repairs of homes and cars.

“Poor infrastructure means more congestion on our roadways, broken water lines and power outages, and an inability to get our goods to market,” says Greg DiLoreto, chairman of ASCE’s Committee for America’s Infrastructure.

The report was first launched in 2011 and is updated yearly to “assess how the nation’s failure to improve its infrastructure systems affects economic performance,” according to the group.

This most recent report provides data and project updates on surface transportation, water and wastewater, electricity, airports and inland waterways and marine ports infrastructure systems. It does indicate that federal and state efforts have help to “stabilize the infrastructure gap,” but low funding levels are continually impacting the U.S. economy.

The report states surface transportation is the most significant sector affected by this “gap” and $1 trillion more is needed for roads, bridges and rail projects over the next 10 years.

The most significant gap, according to the report, is in the transportation sector, where an estimated additional $1 trillion is needed across the network (including roads, bridges, and rail) during the next decade. This lack of investment, which ASCE says would need to be $144 billion per year from federal and state agencies, will spiral in its negative impact if more funding isn’t provided.

“Infrastructure is our economic backbone,” DiLoreto says. “This report again shows us that every day we delay, our infrastructure goes from needing to be repaired to needing to be replaced. For the price of a cup of Starbucks coffee, about three dollars per day per household, we can prevent the loss of jobs, lower incomes, and costs to businesses. The cost of investment offers a good return, as it protects the GDP, jobs, family’s disposable income, and our overall competitiveness.”

The full report is available at ace.org/failuretoact/.