State of Infrastructure Rated Poor

September 27, 2013

United States infrastructure is aging, and it seems Americans are aware of it. In addition to natural aging, the country has been battered by disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, Colorado flooding, and Western wildfires, all of which take a toll on infrastructure.

A recent survey looked into U.S. citizens’ opinions on the state of the infrastructure, and the results show a population concerned about the future. The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive, www.harrisinteractive.com, Rochester, N.Y., on behalf of Microdesk, www.microdesk.com, Nashua, N.H., a company that provides business and technology consulting services for building and design.

Overall, 77% of respondents rated U.S. infrastructure with a “C” grade or below. This echoes the “D+” grade given to infrastructure by ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) in 2013. When it comes to specific types of infrastructure, 41% of Americans said bridges will be most vulnerable to damage and decay, while 26% believe roads will be most vulnerable.

People certainly seem concerned about bridges, as 63% said bridges should receive government funding, compared to 57% for roads and 37% for energy systems.

Americans see increased use of technology as a potential solution for failing infrastructure. Most people are in agreement here, with 90% of respondents saying technology plays an important part in improving the quality of U.S. infrastructure.

Most people also see a need for government to play a significant role in fixing infrastructure. When it comes to regulation, 75% agree that increased government attention in the form of laws and funding is needed to improve the quality of infrastructure. Additionally, 68% disagree that improvements should be financed by private funding, not government funding. Overall, 93% of Americans feel the government should play any primary role in helping guide U.S. infrastructure improvement.

With so many American citizens concerned about the state of infrastructure, it’s likely the nation will hear more about potential technology solutions for aiding with repair. Unfortunately, new infrastructure failures continue to make news, and in many cases solutions become nonnegotiable.