Although many Californians are decrying the legislature for passing a transportation plan that includes new gas taxes and vehicle fees, there’s no argument that the state’s infrastructure is in dire need of repair and maintenance.
According to recent report by the American Society of Civil Engineers, driving on California roads costs vehicle owners $844 per year in repairs. The report also found that 5.5 percent of California bridges are rated structurally deficient. Drinking water needs in California are an estimated $44.5 billion; wastewater needs total $26.2 billion; and 678 dams are considered to be high-hazard potential.
“This deteriorating infrastructure impedes California’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, California, and families can no longer afford,” according to the Society.
While it remains to be seen if the Governor’s $53 billion 10-year transportation plan will significantly impact the state’s infrastructure needs, California is not alone in putting off much-needed improvements.
The Society of Civil Engineers has once again given America a grade of “D+” in its Infrastructure Report Card, deeming the country’s infrastructure as being in poor to fair condition, with many elements approaching the end of their service life.
The Society advocates for sustained investment, bold leadership, thoughtful planning, and careful preparation for the needs of the future as solutions to the infrastructure problem, including closing the $2 trillion 10-year funding gap.
“The time to invest in our nation’s infrastructure is now. The longer we wait, the more it costs. Investing now will save our country more in the long run while also creating economic opportunity, enhancing quality of life, and ensuring public health and safety,” according to the Society.