Every four years, ASCE estimates the investment needed in each infrastructure category to maintain a state of good repair and earn a grade of B. The most recent analysis reveals that while we’ve made incremental immediate gains in some of the infrastructure categories, our long-term investment gap continues to grow. We’re still just paying about half of our infrastructure bill – and the total investment gap has gone from $2.1 trillion over 10 years to $2.59 trillion over 10 years.
As ASCE discovered in its 2021 study, Failure to Act: Economic Impacts of Status Quo Investment Across Infrastructure Systems, failing to close this infrastructure investment gap brings serious economic consequences.
By 2039, continued underinvestment in our infrastructure at current rates will cost:
$10 trillion in GDP
More than 3 million jobs in 2039
$2.24 trillion in exports over the next 20 years
When we fail to invest in our infrastructure, we pay the price. Poor roads and airports mean travel times increase. An aging electric grid and inadequate water distribution make utilities unreliable. Problems like these translate into higher costs for businesses to manufacture and distribute goods and provide services. These higher costs, in turn, get passed along to workers and families.
By 2039, America’s overdue infrastructure bill will cost the average American household $3,300 a year, or $63 a week.
The good news is that closing America’s infrastructure gap is possible with big, bold action from Congress, continued financial support from states and localities, and smart investments and management by infrastructure owners.