Michigan's infrastructure gets near-failing grades from engineers group

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MICHIGAN (WJRT) (3/6/2018) - A group of civil and environmental engineers gave Michigan near-failing grades for infrastructure on Tuesday.

The Michigan Section of the American Society of Engineers says the state ranks last among 27 states and Washington, D.C., which have received report cards from the group since 2013.

Michigan eared a D grade for all infrastructure, including roads and sewer systems. Arkansas, Louisiana and New Jersey scored slightly better with a D-plus.

A grade of D means a state’s infrastructure is in poor to fair condition, with many systems nearing the end of their life cycles and deteriorating.

The grades come from a volunteer group of civil and environmental engineers in each state. Grades reflect whether infrastructure can meet capacity, its physical condition, government funding levels and repair costs.

Key findings of the report in Michigan include:
• Roads received a D- grade because 39 percent of paved roads in Michigan -- or 120,000 miles -- are in poor condition, 43 percent in fair condition and only 18 percent in good condition.

• Michigan's drinking water systems scored a D-.

• The state lacks a way to inventory, operate and maintain the stormwater infrastructure, which provide flood protection.

• Michigan has 1,234 structurally deficient bridges. The Michigan Department of Transportation estimates that state-maintained bridges in poor condition will increase by 50 percent in the next five years.

There are several recommendations in the report card to raise the grade of Michigan's infrastructure, which include increasing state funding, prioritizing public health and more.

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