NY’s 2022 Infrastructure Report Card Is Alarming Upstate Drivers
I have a friend who's a nurse that loves to tell the joke "what do you call a guy who got all Cs through medical school? A doctor." While I can vouch for my friend's GPA, it does make me a little nervous when I visit a new doctor. Nobody's crazy about using a professional that barely scraped by on their report card.
I get that same unease from New York's 2022 Infrastructure Report Card from the American Society For Civil Engineers. The newly released info maybe isn't exactly what you want to hear before your next drive through Upstate. Let's break it down score by score.
Fully into the ASCE's "Poor" territory, New York's roads are often a disarray of potholes, cracks, and other hazards. 27% of roads are in bad shape, and the damage they do to cars costs Upstate drivers an average of $625 per year.
One in ten of the state's bridges is currently in poor condition, which is troubling because that's something you particularly don't want failing on you. Some of the problems are due to driver damage.
Railroad bridges like the Capital Region's Glenville Road Bridge are regularly struck by large trucks. Some bridges, like the Livingston Avenue Bridge connecting Albany to Rensselaer, are more than a century old. Fortunately, the Federal Infrastructure Bill is providing large funds to the state to hopefully fix more of our bridges.
Public Parks: B-
This was the highest grade we got from the ASCE. (The other B- was from Solid Waste.) Pandemic lockdowns sparked an interest in returning to nature, and New York's State Parks saw a lot of growth. The additional funds from extra park visitors has been turned around for preservation and conservation of our wilder places.
Drinking Water: C-
The ASCE says aging water treatment and distribution systems plus "increasingly stringent water quality regulations" are making it hard to keep up with demand and cost. But at least our tap water doesn't come in "chunky style."
Other C Grades
Rail, Aviation, Dams, and Ports
Other D Grades
Wastewater and Public Transit
Overall Grade: C
The exact term used by the ASCE is mediocre. Anyway, have a nice drive today!