Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) releases a report card that depicts the condition and performance of the nation's infrastructure in the familiar form of a school report card by assigning letter grades to each type of infrastructure. Unfortunately, America consistently gets barely passing grades -- last year garnering only a "D+" -- and our infrastructure systems are in dire need of modernization and repair.
Infrastructure is the backbone of our economy. The roads and bridges we drive on, the systems we use to communicate with each other, the clean water we need to live, the schools our children attend and the power systems we rely on every day are falling apart. They're old. They need to be replaced. And, this isn't a new problem; it's been going on for awhile.
Pipes under our cities rot away, leaking water or natural gas. Roads that are congested cost us billions in lost gas and time and result in our emitting even more carbon pollution into the air. Schools are falling apart, wasting energy and water, not to mention drawing resources away from teaching and learning.
Our climate is changing and that's impacting our infrastructure by bringing stronger storms, floods, rising sea levels and droughts. Our infrastructure is weak and vulnerable from years of neglect and disinvestment. We don't really have a choice at this point. We're at a make or break moment for our economy and environment.
Repairing America isn't going to be cheap, but it will be a huge benefit to our economy and environment. Our latest report, Making the Grade: How Investments in America's Infrastructure Benefit Our Economy and Environment, shows that by getting our systems to a "B" grade over the next decade, we can potentially create an additional 2.7 million jobs across the U.S. economy and increase GDP by $377 billion over 10 years versus a business-as-usual approach.
We need to start today. Repairing our infrastructure and ensuring it is prepared for climate change needs to be a priority at the top of our nation's agenda. Without a world-class infrastructure, we will not be able to compete in the global marketplace. Resilient infrastructure systems mean we can keep our communities healthy and safe. And, fixing and modernizing these systems is an economic opportunity we cannot afford to pass up.
Join our Repair America campaign today and help us make infrastructure the national priority it should be.