- WASHINGTON - Crowded schools,
traffic-choked roads and transit cutbacks are eroding the quality of American
life, according to an analysis by civil engineers that gave the nation's
infrastructure an overall grade of D.
- A report by the American Society of Civil Engineers released
Wednesday assessed the four-year trend in the condition of 12 categories
of infrastructure, including roadways, bridges, drinking water systems,
public parks, railroads and the power grid.
- The overall grade slipped from the D-plus given to the
infrastructure in 2001 and 2003.
- "Americans are spending more time stuck in traffic
and less time at home with their families," William Henry, the group's
president, said in a statement.
- The report said $1.6 trillion should be spent over the
next five years to alleviate potential problems with the nation's infrastructure.
Transportation alone requires $94 billion in annual spending, the report
- The House is to begin debate Wednesday on a six-year,
$284 billion highway and mass transit bill, which stalled last year in
a money dispute between the White House and Congress.
- The report concluded that airports will face the challenge
of accommodating more regional jets and super-jumbo jets. Grade: D-plus.
- It's uncertain, the report said, whether schools can
handle growing enrollment and smaller class sizes required by the No Child
Left Behind Act. Grade: D.
- The report also noted that many transit systems are borrowing
money to maintain operations as they're raising fees and cutting back service.
- On the Net: The report card: http://www.asce.org/reportcard
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