On September 15th, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Wisconsin Section released its 2020 Wisconsin Infrastructure Report Card, in which the state earned a “C”.
This tool analyzes 13 categories of infrastructure on eight criteria to determine the condition of current infrastructure. Findings from this study are used to educate the public and policymakers on our greatest infrastructure needs and how upgrading these needs will benefit the economy and enhance the quality of life. Among the grading criteria is capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation and maintenance, public safety, resilience, and innovation.
The 2020 report determined Wisconsin’s infrastructure is sufficient in the meantime but will require updates in the near future. Energy infrastructure led the way with a “B” rating, meaning current needs are being met and proactive planning is underway to utilize more renewable energy sources in the future. Transit and road rankings demonstrated the greatest need for funding, each with “D+” ratings. To improve these sectors, roadways will need to be updated over the next few years to minimize vehicle damage and grow with increasing capacity demands, as transit will need additional funding to provide transit-reliant residents with greater flexibility and opportunity to travel more places more often. It is important to note these ratings do not reflect the efforts of government agencies to improve infrastructure, rather they demonstrate the need for greater funding and how it should be allocated.
Wisconsin businesses rely on infrastructure each day to provide goods and services; it is vital to our economy. Aside from its economic benefits, infrastructure investment protects the environment, reduces wear on vehicles, attracts and maintains residents, and improves the overall quality of life for Wisconsinites. Following the 2020 report, ASCE Wisconsin Section recommends increasing infrastructure investment, prioritizing projects based on age and need, and researching innovative solutions.
Wisconsin ASCE raises awareness of the need to maintain and modernize infrastructure using today’s best practices. The organization advocates for increasing infrastructure investment to enhance the quality transportation and life across the United States. To learn more about Wisconsin’s ranking, view the Report Card for Wisconsin’s Infrastructure Executive Summary.