Infrastructure in North Carolina

North Carolina Infrastructure Overview

While the nation’s infrastructure earned a C- in the 2021 Infrastructure Report Card, North Carolina faces infrastructure challenges of its own. For example, driving on roads in need of repair in North Carolina costs each driver $500 per year, and 9.3% of bridges are rated structurally deficient. Drinking water needs in North Carolina are an estimated $16.8 billion. 1,307 dams are considered to be high-hazard potential. The state’s schools have an estimated capital expenditure gap of $660 million. This deteriorating infrastructure impedes North Carolina’s ability to compete in an increasingly global marketplace. Success in a 21st-century economy requires serious, sustained leadership on infrastructure investment at all levels of government. Delaying these investments only escalates the cost and risks of an aging infrastructure system, an option that the country, North Carolina, and families can no longer afford.

Key Facts about North Carolina's Infrastructure

aviation infrastructure


14 major airports

bridge infrastructure


18,407 bridges, 9.3% of which were structurally deficient in 2019

dam infrastructure


1307 high hazard dams

water infrastructure

Drinking Water

$16.8 billion total drinking water need over 20 years

energy infrastructure


982 outages between 2008 and 2017

hazardous waste infrastructure

Hazardous Waste

46 Superfund sites

inland waterways

Inland Waterways

1,150 miles of inland waterways



59 miles of levees protect 570 residents.

public parks

Public Parks

$459,049,042 in deferred park maintenance

port infrastructure


2 major water ports

rail infrastructure


3,161 miles of rail across the state

road infrastructure


14% of roads are in poor condition. Each motorist pays $500 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair

school infrastructure


$660 million gap in estimated school capital expenditures.

solid waste infrastructure

Solid Waste

9,688,313 tons of municipal solid waste

stormwater infrastructure


$4.33 average monthly fee

transportation infrastructure


68.8 million passenger trips in 2018

wastewater infrastructure


$5.3 billion in wastewater needs

Key Solutions

Our nation’s infrastructure problems are solvable if we have leadership and commit to making good ideas a reality. Raising the grades on our infrastructure will require that we seek and adopt a wide range of solutions.
Leadership & Action

Smart investment will only be possible with strong leadership, decisive action, and a clear vision for our nation’s infrastructure.


If the United States is serious about achieving an infrastructure system fit for the future some specific steps must be taken, beginning with increased, long-term, consistent investment.


We must utilize new approaches, materials, and technologies to ensure our infrastructure can withstand or quickly recover from natural or man-made hazards.

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