Report: Nation's infrastructure earns D+, S.C.'s also faces challenges

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The 2017 Infrastructure Report Card gives the Nation's Infrastructure a grade of D+, and says South Carolina faces infrastructure challenges of its own.

A D grade means "the infrastructure is in poor to fair condition and mostly below standard, with many elements approaching the end of their service life," the report, recently released by the American Society of Civil Engineers, states. "A large portion of the system exhibits significant deterioration. Condition and capacity are of serious concern with a strong risk of failure."

The Federal Highway Administration issued a statement in response to the report's findings:

"The FHWA agrees that there is a continuing need to improve America's roads, bridges and tunnels. We are exploring new and innovative ways approaches to make the needed improvements to keep the public safe." 

The report focuses on multiple issues from drinking water and renewable energy to bridges and roadways. The report states there are 6,046 miles of public roads in the state, with 16 percent in poor condition. The report shows driving on roads in need of repair in S.C. costs each driver $502.

America's roads are often crowded, frequently in poor condition, chronically underfunded, and are becoming more dangerous, the report states.

The report found more than two out of every five miles of America's urban interstates are congested and traffic delays cost the country $160 billion in wasted time and fuel in 2014 One out of every five miles of highway pavement is in poor condition and our roads have a significant and increasing backlog of rehabilitation needs. After years of decline, traffic fatalities increased by 7% from 2014 to 2015, with 35,092 people dying on America's roads.

"This deteriorating infrastructure impedes South Carolina's ability to compete in an increasingly global marketplace. Success in a 21st=century economy requires serious, sustained leadership on infrastructure investment at all levels of government. Delaying these investments only escalates the cost and risks of an aging infrastructure system, an option that the country, South Carolina, and families can no longer afford," the report states.

Click here to see the full report for South Carolina.

The ASCE Committee on America's Infrastructure, made up of 28 dedicated civil engineers from across the country with decades of expertise in all categories, volunteers their time to work with ASCE Infrastructure Initiatives staff to prepare the Report Card. The Committee assesses all relevant data and reports, consults with technical and industry experts, and assigns grades.

Copyright 2017 WCSC. All rights reserved.