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Like Nation As A Whole, Illinois Has Pretty Crummy Roads & Infrastructure

By Stephen Gossett in News on Mar 10, 2017 8:36PM

Getty Images / Photo: Scott Olson

A professional body of civil engineers released its latest infrastructure report card. The bad news? Illinois, along with the nation at large, does not fare well. The good news? Um… it’s Friday?

Illinois fared either mediocre or poor in each of the nine categories measured in the quadrennial report, published by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Inland waterway infrastructure, transit, wastewater and roads were graded particularly low. (That last doesn't come as much of a surprise.) Overall, the state received a paltry C-.

The full report for Illinois is below. You can find out more about how each grade was determined here.
Aviation: C+
Bridges: C+
Dams: C
Drinking Water: C-
Inland Waterways: D-
Rail: C
Roads: D+
Transit: D+
Wastewater: D+

The silver lining is that Illinois ranked better than the nation as a whole, which scored a dismal D+. That’s essentially where things stood four years ago, the last time ASCE released its study, “suggesting only incremental progress was made over the last four years.”

“Our infrastructure bill is overdue and our inaction is costing Americans $3,400 per year in lost disposal income,” said former ASCE president Greg DiLoreto, who led the body that delivered the report card, in a statement. “While Congress and states have made some effort to improve infrastructure, it’s not enough. To see real progress, we need to make long-term infrastructure investment a priority.”

The findings arrive at a time when infrastructure funding is of course a political topic du jour, one of the few avenues for potential common ground between Democratic lawmakers and the White House. Trump made overtures to a plan on Wednesday when he directed a team of White House officials to develop a detailed plan. The Washington Post reports, “White House officials envision that the projects could include building or rebuilding ports, roads, bridges and airports, expanding access to broadband and expanding access to housing.”

But given oppositional forces within his own party—and his own pledge to keep the proposal cost-neutral—progress could be slow developing. U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) said last month that she would work with the president on a “decent” infrastructure bill but also criticized Trump’s mention of the topic in February’s address to Congress as “vague platitudes.”