The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has released its latest report card on U.S. infrastructure, and the country again received poor marks across the board. Here is a piece I wrote for Defense Media Network about the continuing problems plaguing America’s infrastructure.

Failing Infrastructure in America – Defense Media Network

If your child came home with consistently failing grades on report cards, what would you do? You might at first get mad with them for not taking their subjects seriously or not doing the work they were supposed to do.

If it kept happening you might schedule an appointment at their school to meet with the teacher or principal to set a course of action to correct the failure. Somewhere in between there, your child might get a tutor, an after school study buddy, or even be grounded until things turned around for the better. But what if the failing grades kept coming? What would you do?

That’s the question American taxpayers have to ask themselves after getting the latest installment of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2013 Report Card on America’s Infrastructure. Issued every four years, the report is a comprehensive assessment by a select group of ASCE experts on our nation’s roads, bridges, utilities, ports and more, and details what’s right and what’s wrong with the infrastructure that underpins our economy and way of life.

This year’s average grade point average (GPA) was a D+, which is up from the previous GPA of D issued in the earlier report card of 2009. Talk about improvement.

Critical infrastructure was severely flooded during Hurricane Sandy, and the storm destroyed key terminals in the port of Newark, N.J., Dec. 12, 2012. FEMA provides supplemental Federal disaster grant assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged, publicly owned facilities and the facilities of certain Private Non-Profit (PNP) organizations. FEMA photo by Adam DuBrowa

It would be easy to declare each of these report cards an embarrassment, but the truth is they could be more accurately described as routine. According to ASCE’s 2013 Executive Summary, “Since 1998, the grades have been near failing, averaging only Ds, due to delayed maintenance and underinvestment across most categories.”

Read the full article.

Rich Cooper blogs primarily on emergency preparedness and response, management issues related to the Department of Homeland Security, and the private sector’s role in homeland security. Read More