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Transportation and Infrastructure

Report: Indiana Roads And Bridges Average Compared With National Rankings

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Michael Gil
/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/msvg/4304094088

As Republicans and Democrats argue about the state of Indiana's roads and bridges, a nonpartisan report card is supplying ammo to both sides.

The American Society of Civil Engineers issues a 50-state report card every four years. The last one, from 2013, showed one in six major roads in Indiana in poor condition, the 18th-worst percentage in the country.

The 10-percent of bridges rated structurally deficient is the 22nd-worst.

However, the report card was issued two years ago and is based on data from three years before that.

ASCE Indiana past president Jared Huss says several factors go into the letter grades.

“Long-term funding is looked at.[For example], is there a mechanism that supports infrastructure improvements, the current condition both on a local and a state level?” Huss says. “Sometimes people look at roads as a conglomerate of the same, but there are a number of different jurisdictional levels.”

The ASCE also awarded letter grades to about half the states. Indiana got a C-minus for roads, but only Ohio scored as high as a B-minus.

Indiana's grade is the seventh-highest among 24 states ranked. Similarly, only four states ranked in the B range for bridges. Indiana's C-plus is the fifth-best ranking among 22 states.

Huss says the society purposely used a tough grading scale.

“The United States infrastructure’s a pretty robust system, but I think that we also want to hold ourselves to a higher standard,” Huss says. “The grades are important to look at from a standpoint of communication, both to the general public and then maybe to some of our legislators.”

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