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Once every four years, America’s civil engineers rate the nation’s major infrastructure and issue a Report Card for America’s Infrastructure (Report Card). We got our copy from Stephen Urbanek, pavement preservation manager for Sonoma County’s Department of Transportation and Public Works.

While the U.S. score was D+, California earned a composite grade of C for items that included roads and transportation along with energy, water and environment, parks and public schools. Specifics about roads:

  • Driving on roads in need of repair costs California motorists $13.892 billion a year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs – $586 per motorist.
  • 68% of California’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
  • California has 171,874 public road miles.
  • California’s highway vehicle-miles traveled in 2009 was approximately 8,647 per capita, ranking it 40th in the nation.
  • California’s gas tax of 48.7 cents per gallon has not been increased in ? years.

“It is clear that we have a significant backlog of overdue maintenance across our infrastructure systems, a pressing need for modernization, and an immense opportunity to create reliable, long-term funding sources to avoid wiping out our recent gains,” according to the report issued by the American Society of Civil Engineers. “Overall, most grades fell below a C, and our cumulative GPA inched up just slightly to a D+ from a D four years ago.

“Forty-two percent of America’s major urban highways remain congested, costing the economy an estimated $101 billion in wasted time and fuel annually. While the conditions have improved in the near term, and Federal, state, and local capital investments increased to $91 billion annually, that level of investment is insufficient and still projected to result in a decline in conditions and performance in the long term. Currently, the Federal Highway Administration estimates that $170 billion in capital investment would be needed on an annual basis to significantly improve conditions and performance.”

Read the full report here.

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