Connecticut has earned a C- on the American Society of Civil Engineers’ most recent infrastructure report card.
The scorecard, issued Oct. 30, considered bridges, drinking water, rail, roads and wastewater.
ASCE routinely publishes infrastructure report cards for states and the country as a whole. Connecticut’s average grade is higher than the group’s grade of D+ for America’s infrastructure in 2017.
Rail scored a B, the highest grade on the card. Roads and wastewater earned a D+ to tie for poorest grade.
The Stamford Metro-North Railroad station. (Shutterstock)
The report notes that more than half of Connecticut’s 20,000-mile network of roads is more than 55 years old. Moreover, the road network gets costlier as it ages. A combination of dilapidation and congestion creates a burden of $2.4 billion a year for drivers. The report projects that $30 billion will be needed for roadway improvements within 30 years.
“If the appropriate maintenance is not performed as roads continue to age, the overall condition of the network will deteriorate and will cost more to repair,” the report states. “The extreme variability in Connecticut’s weather is one of the largest contributing factors to pavement deterioration.”
Bridges earned a C-. Travelers in Connecticut make 79 million bridge crossings each day. According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, 7.8% of the bridges in the state are structurally deficient.
In a September report, The Road Information Program, known as TRIP, found that 59% of bridges in Connecticut are 50 years or older, which marks the fourth-highest rate of aging bridges in the country.
“Much of Connecticut’s infrastructure is over 50 years old, meaning it is beyond its intended life,” the report card states. “While our roadways, bridges and more are still functioning and safe, they are worn out, less reliable and more congested.”
The Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers, the chapter that produced the card in conjunction with ASCE, advocates for more infrastructure investment. To address that, Connecticut residents voted Nov. 6 to approve an amendment that would create a lockbox for transportation funds. Lockbox measures ensure that transportation revenue is used for only transportation-related purposes.
The report card recommended establishing the lockbox so that transportation dollars are not funneled into the state’s general fund.