New Jersey’s 2016 Infrastructure Report Card from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is in, and if we were New Jersey we’d put a couple of pillows in our back pockets before bringing this report card home…
In all seriousness, this is very bad. The American Society of Civil Engineers is the nation’s oldest engineering society and has over 150,000 members. In other words, they know a thing or two about infrastructure, and what they see in New Jersey isn’t good.
When New Jersey’s infrastructure was last evaluated in 2007, the state achieved a composite infrastructure grade of C- grading only 7 categories. The 2016 grade point average is a D+ grading more infrastructure statewide.
And these aren’t just imaginary numbers. New Jerseyans live with these poor grades whenever we hit a pothole, whenever we have to detour around a closed bridge, whenever our lights go out in a storm, and whenever our basements fill with water.
Our state’s economic well-being and our enviable way of life will be in jeopardy if we do not meet these public policy challenges head on and with a realistic and well-informed vision of our infrastructure’s future. Failure to do so will inevitably lead to an erosion of the services we take for granted.
The ASCE has a three step plan to start raising the grades:
- Fix the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund
- Keep rebuilding resilient infrastructure
- Better infrastructure starts with better choices.