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Please note: The Frank Talk articles listed below contain historical material. The data provided was current at the time of publication. For current information regarding any of the funds mentioned in these presentations, please visit the appropriate fund performance page.

More Bad Grades for America's Infrastructure

January 29, 2009

America Infrastructure GPA 012909The American Society of Civil Engineers released its 2009 Infrastructure Report Card yesterday, and the conclusion is that the nation is a “D” student.

“Poorly maintained, unable to meet current and future demands, and in some cases, unsafe” is the ASCE’s assessment.

The full report won’t be released until late March, but the situation has worsened since the ASCE issued its last infrastructure report card in 2005. Only one of the 15 categories was upgraded (energy), while aviation, roads and transit all received lower grades. The other 11 categories were unchanged.

Key observations:

  • One of every four bridges in the U.S. is either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete;
  • The average age of the nation’s 85,000 dams is 51 years; and
  • Americans spend 4.2 billion hours a year stuck in traffic at a cost to the economy of $78.2 billion, or $710 per motorist.

ASCE now says it will cost $2.2 trillion to bring America’s infrastructure up to acceptable standards. That’s up 38 percent from the $1.6 trillion figure cited in the 2005 report card.

The lesson is clear—the longer we wait on these fixes, the more expensive they get. President Obama is emphasizing infrastructure to restart the economy, and there’s a secondary benefit: roads and bridges that we can trust.

All opinions expressed and data provided are subject to change without notice. Some of these opinions may not be appropriate to every investor.

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