US infrastructure grade: D-plus

Last year, US infrastructure got a D-plus from the American Society of Civil Engineers or ASCE.

Last year, basic infrastructure got a D-plus from the American Society of Civil Engineers or ASCE. That’s a near-failing grade. It got the same grade back in 2013.

All Americans seem to agree on one thing. The US needs to renovate its vital infrastructure. Once the best in the world, it's now in bad shape and falling apart. The road to repairing the bridges and tunnels however looks like it will be bumpy one.

During his state of the union address, US president Donald Trump called on Congress to allow a 1.5 trillion dollar infrastructure bill to advance. The funds represent a fraction of the trillions engineers say is needed. Under the plan only 200 billion dollars will come from direct federal spending. The majority will come from states and so called Public private partnership.

No new funds will be allocated for new bridges, railways, roads and tunnels. Money will be taken out of other federal programs and its look like congress will have the task of choosing what gets the axe. The noise coming from the democrats is that federal government has to step up and do more. Critics say Americans will not cough up the cash for a plan that appears to be prioritizing private profits over the public good.

While support for public works spending is widespread among Democrats, there is little appetite to work with Trump at the moment. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi described it a puny infrastructure scam. Democratic congressman Brendan Boyle says the proposal falls short of the 1 trillion dollars Trump pledged during his election campaign, one of the few promises that received support from Democrats.

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