On Wednesday, the New Hampshire Section of ASCE released its 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, giving the state’s infrastructure a “C-.” A team of professional engineers from across the state graded twelve infrastructure categories, including aviation, bridges, dams, drinking water, energy, hazardous waste, ports, rail, roads, solid waste, stormwater, and wastewater. New Hampshire last released a Report Card in 2011, and graded the state’s infrastructure a “C.”
The Report Card for New Hampshire’s Infrastructure found that many of the state’s infrastructure systems are struggling to stay in adequate condition. For example, airport capital investment needs for the next 20 years exceed the available funding by $100 million to $200 million. Nearly 80% of all state-owned bridges were built prior to 1980 and as of December 2015, 12.8% of the bridges in state were considered structurally deficient. Additionally, much of the current energy infrastructure – including distribution systems, source of supply infrastructure, water treatment facilities, and pumping facilities – are in need of upgrades or replacement, with a 10-year investment need of approximately $857 million.
“New Hampshire’s infrastructure is living on borrowed time thanks to past generations’ investments,” said Logan Johnson, chair of the Report Card for New Hampshire’s Infrastructure. “We’re not investing in the maintenance and modernization our infrastructure needs to support a thriving economy, and instead we’re paying the price in other ways.”
Given these infrastructure challenges, ASCE urges action to raise the grades. For example, New Hampshire citizens need to be informed and vocal about their communities’ infrastructure needs. State lawmakers must pursue consistent policies and funding sources to ensure sustained support for infrastructure and enable long-term planning. The state also needs to pursue more locally-sourced funding for infrastructure, rather than relying so heavily on federal funding and financing to supplement the state’s infrastructure budget.
ASCE State and Regional Infrastructure Report Cards are modeled after the national Infrastructure Report Card, which gave America’s infrastructure a grade of D+ last month.