Pennsylvania received an official report card on Wednesday regarding its overall infrastructure. The final grades? Not too good.
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the state a D+ for its maintenance of bridges and storm water, a D- for its road and wastewater maintenance and a D for its drinking water and transit.
According to the ASCE, 23 percent of Pennsylvania’s 22,660 bridges are considered structurally deficient, the highest percentage in the nation. They also report that 19 percent of the state’s bridges are functionally obsolete.
ASCE officials acknowledged that Pennsylvania’s passing of the Transportation Funding Bill Act 89 will likely lead to significant improvement. However, even with the additional funding, they estimate that more than 50 percent of the needs for state bridges and more than 60 percent of the funding needs for local bridges won’t be met in 2019.
ASCE officials also say PennDOT rated 44 percent of the state’s roads fair or poor in 2012, an increase of about two percent over the last year.
Another alarming highlight of the report focused on Pennsylvania’s wastewater. According to the ASCE, Pennsylvania has the greatest number of combined sewer overflows in the country, meaning billions of gallons of untreated sewage are spilled each year.
Experts say funding for infrastructure has to become a priority for the state immediately.
“The purpose of the whole report card is to draw attention to the fact that we do need additional funding,” said Ann Tomalavage of the ASCE. “There is still some work to be done.”
Full list of grades: