Engineers grade Pa.'s infrastructure C-minus

Posted: June 27, 2014

Pennsylvania's infrastructure has not improved since 2010, and the ongoing deterioration of its bridges and the near-failing condition of its roads remain a major economic problem for the state, according to a report card released Wednesday by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The state's overall grade remained stuck at C-minus, but there was some optimism among speakers at a news conference that Pennsylvania's new transportation-funding law would start turning conditions around.

Pennsylvania's roads remained a sore spot, earning a grade of D-minus this year, the same as in 2010, the last time the report on Pennsylvania infrastructure was prepared.

Despite the additional money for roads in Act 89 - which will generate an estimated additional $2.4 billion in transportation funding by 2018 than otherwise would have been available - the civil engineers group said roadway needs would still not be met in 2019.

"Simply keeping the road system from degrading, let alone improving it, requires more funding than is currently available," according to the report, which analyzed 16 types of infrastructure.

The highest grade, a B, went to the 5,127-mile freight-rail system, which is maintained primarily by private companies. The report said it cost $580 million annually to maintain tracks and bridges.

Public transit was the only area to show improvement, rising to a D from a D-minus in the assessment by the civil engineers.

Areas with lower grades were bridges, drinking water, schools, solid waste, and wastewater.

The engineering assessment considered these criteria: capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation and maintenance, public safety, innovation, and resilience.


BY THE LETTERS

Highlights of grades from the report

B Freight rail.

D+ Bridges.

D Transit.

D- Roads.


hbrubaker@phillynews.com

215-854-4651 @InqBrubaker

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