ROADS/BRIDGES: Pa. barely passes on new ASCE infrastructure report card

High number of deficient bridges and traffic fatalities drag down state’s grades

June 25, 2014

Pennsylvania’s roads and bridges earned grades of D– and D+, respectively, in the latest report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The state’s grades in the other infrastructure categories were not much better.

“Pennsylvania has the highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges in the country,” said the report. “Of the Commonwealth’s more than 22,000 bridges, nearly one in four are considered structurally deficient.”

Pennsylvania roadways average 1.3 traffic fatalities per 100 million miles of travel, according to ASCE, significantly higher than the national average of 1.1 fatalities.

The ASCE report makes three recommendations:

  • KEEP UP THE MOMENTUM FOR BETTER INFRASTRUCTURE: In 2013, Pennsylvania’s officials showed leadership by passing a transportation package that will start putting the roads, bridges and transit systems back into working order;
  • AFFIRM PUBLIC SAFETY AS GOVERNMENT’S No. 1 JOB: Whether it’s repairs to bridges, ensuring safe drinking water or keeping up on dam safety inspections, public safety must always be the first priority as leaders budget and plan for the future. Ensuring infrastructure is resilient and online 99.9% of the time will keep communities safe and the economy thriving; and
  • STOP WASTING MONEY BY WAITING: Of the seven infrastructure categories with D grades, all of these deal with transportation and water systems, and much of the repairs and long-term funding are being short-changed. Waiting will only lead to larger issues that will disrupt lives and cost even more when the bill comes due. Pennsylvania must look at the full cost of decisions and then put savings to use.

More information from ASCE’s infrastructure report card is at