America gets a D+ for infrastructure

Worst grades were levees and inland waterways

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The American Society of Civil Engineers has issued a new report that highlights the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. 22News has the details on how Massachusetts fared.

The nation as a whole got a grade of a D+ and Massachusetts also had some glaring needs.

Roads, bridges, drinking water, and travel are just some of the categories analyzed and graded in a new report by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Overall America got a D+; its worst grades were levees and inland waterways. Its best score was a B- for solid waste.

When it came to Massachusetts, nearly 10% of bridges were labeled structurally deficient.

Erika Laquer of Northampton told 22News, “The infrastructure is what you don’t see and it’s not as exciting as building a bridge or building a school or something that you can show. Its underneath, but it really needs to be done.”

42% of roads are considered to be in mediocre or poor condition.

Judith Fine of Northampton said, “It’s probably politics, there are so many other things that need to be done. You can never really tell what is a priority somewhere, but we need to increase the budget for our infrastructure, it’s as simple as that.”

$6.8 billion in drinking water infrastructure is needed over the next 20 years. Repairs to infrastructure can be costly in both money and time. Emergency Bridge work on I-91 near exit 18 in Northampton caused an 8.5 mile traffic backup.

According to Michael Verseckes, a MassDOT Spokesperson, “It didn’t really start to open up until last night and this morning and that’s because of the age, wear and tear and use, and precipitation which is the real culprit.”

The bridge work was completed around 2 o’clock Friday afternoon. The Department of Transportation says they’ll eventually be looking to replace the overpass.

As for the Civil Engineer Study, Verseckes told 22News that thanks to the Governor’s accelerated bridge program; they’ve reduced the number of structurally deficient bridges by about 20%.