Michigan receives C- in infrastructure report card

Michigan’s overall infrastructure is improving, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ latest report card for the state’s infrastructure.
Published: May. 8, 2023 at 4:36 PM EDT
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MICHIGAN (WNEM) - Michigan’s roads, bridges, and overall infrastructure is improving, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ latest report card for the state’s infrastructure.

“The cumulative grade for the 2023 report card for Michigan’s infrastructure is a C-. A C- means our infrastructure is in mediocre condition and requires attention,” said Brad Ewart, president of the American Society of Civil Engineers Michigan section.

Ewart presented the ASCE state report card for Michigan on Monday, May 8.

The findings are designed to raise public awareness of the importance of modern and well-maintained infrastructure and help residents and decision-makers understand how Michigan’s infrastructure is faring and what can be done to modernize its systems.

The report card issued grades in 14 categories including aviation, rail, bridges, roads, dams, schools, drinking water, solid waste, energy, stormwater, inland waterways, transit, public works, and wastewater. Grades ranged from a C to a D.

Some categories improved since the last report card in 2018 while others declined, Ewart said.

“The five that increased were drinking water, rail, roads, schools, and stormwater,” Ewart said.

One of the two categories that decreased was bridges.

“The grade went down this cycle because the number of bridges in fair condition has risen to 54 percent, while the number in good condition has dropped to 35 percent,” Ewart said.

The other category that decreased was energy.

“Michigan’s energy grid has been dealing with reliability issues for years, but they have increased since the 2018 report. We experience slightly more interruptions to power services than the national average. And it takes roughly 37 percent longer for our services to be restored after an outage,” Ewart said.

The overall grade of C- is a step in the right direction, Ewart said.

“This is an improvement from the D+ Michigan received in the 2018 state report card, demonstrating the progress our policymakers and agencies have made in recent years to improve conditions,” Ewart said.

Michigan’s C- matches the nation’s overall grade of C-, Ewart said, adding much of the improvement over the last five years has been driven by one-time or short-term investments in infrastructure.

Ewart believes state lawmakers need to find a long-term solution to fully maintain and restore the state’s infrastructure.

“These grades show that Michigan legislators and agencies are continuing to work hard at improving our built environment, but there is plenty of work left to be done,” Ewart said.

The American Society of Civil Engineers said it would take almost $4 billion in investment to get Michigan’s infrastructure report card to an A.

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