On the road to ruin: How America's infrastructure is failing

Labourers of a state-owned bridge building company works at a construction site of a bridge in Hanoi April 1, 2015. Vietnam needs to quicken the privatisation of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) as well as divestment from non-core businesses to raise capital and boost performance, the country's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Kham - RTR4VQ3U

America’s infrastructure is failing. Image: REUTERS/Kham

Anne VanderMey
Associate Editor, Fortune
Nicolas Rapp
Information Graphics Designer, Fortune
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You’ve heard it before: America’s infrastructure is failing. Well, almost. The American Society of Civil Engineers reiterated its nearly failing grade for the country’s vital infrastructure: a D+.

The ASCE report comes out once every four years, and has become a familiar bearer of bad news. But the state of the country’s roads were the standout piece of bad news this year—the report found that $2 trillion would be needed over the next 10 years to get U.S. roads back in fighting shape.

Image: Fortune

And there’s more reason to do that than just a smoother drive. From the report:

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.

Donald Trump’s plan to spend big on infrastructure may offer some much-needed relief. However, there are some are concerns over his plan to try to build infrastructure like toll roads that would pay for itself, rather than just putting up the money. What many experts are arguing for is far less sexy than revenue-generating mega-projects, but could save more money for taxpayers in the long-term: repairing the roads that already exist.

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