Today, over 46,000 bridges are considered structurally deficient, 42% of our bridges are now over 50 years old. Over 6 billion gallons of treated, usable water is lost every day due to our aging water systems. Over 40% of our roadways are in mediocre or poor condition, costing American commuters over $1000 a year in wasted time and fuel. The costs to simply maintain these critical public assets has now swelled to over $1 trillion dollars.
Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers, an organization representing over 150,000 civil engineering professionals, evaluates America’s infrastructure and creates a report card letter grading the physical condition of everything that makes our country work. In 2021 America’s infrastructure scored a C-. This is the first above D grade US infrastructure has received in over 20 years.
Individually, Florida received a C grade for 2021. The report indicated that Florida’s bridges and roads are currently in better condition than the national average, with 3% of the state’s bridges and 31% of roads considered poor quality. Florida’s coastal areas however do remain under significant threat, over 50% of Florida sandy shoreline is considered critically eroded. To accommodate the continually growing population Florida must continue to substantially invest in maintaining and expanding the state’s public utilities and transit.
While significant repairs and updates are vital to maintaining our existing infrastructure, considerable improvements have been underway. On November 15 of 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed into law. This bill provides $550 billion dollars of new federal dollars to upgrade, repair, and improve American infrastructure. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will have a broad impact from improving existing airports, roads, ports to expanding broadband access and adding new electric car chargers. The bill also includes the largest investment in public transit in the history of the United States.
One of the most significant aspects of the bill will be repairing the nations aging bridges and roads. 26.5 billion dollars have been dedicated for bridge repairs and 110 billion dollars dedicated to repairing our roads. In total the state of Florida is expected to receive over 13 billion dollars in funding for infrastructure projects. This investment is the most significant amount of money dedicated to fixing bridges since creating the Interstate Highway System in 1956.
State and local governments are also making substantial investments in improving their local infrastructure. In November 2020, well over 90% of ballot initiatives to fix, repair, or upgrade their local infrastructure passed nationwide. Dedicating resources to improve the public utilities and transit we all use remains remarkably popular.
Biltmore is currently working with both the cities of Clearwater and St. Petersburg to improve our local community’s infrastructure. In Clearwater, we are now undergoing the phased cleaning and repairing of 14 different pedestrian and vehicular bridges across the city, making sure they remain safe and well-kept for many more years to come. In St. Petersburg, we are performing the utility replacement of the existing water and sanitary sewer lines, replacing disturbed sidewalk and asphalt road, and creating two new community parks.