A new app allows users to see what letter grades infrastructure in their state received in the American Society of Civil Engineers' report card. Users can send the grade, along with photos and statistics, to local and federal representatives.
"Elected officials say their phones are not ringing with people talking about the failing infrastructure," says Emily Feenstra , ASCE's director of infrastructure initiatives, in Washington, D.C. "We need to elevate this message."
The app's simple interface gives users quick statistics, such as how much the state's highway system costs motorists per year and how many bridges are structurally deficient. There are also national grades with more information on particular sectors like solid waste, transit and wastewater.
"We also want to highlight the good that's happening," says Feenstra. This summer, the ASCE will come out with an initiative Feenstra calls Infrastructure Game Changers, which covers many of the infrastructure sectors in the report card and details projects that helped improve a sector.
The next infrastructure report card will come out in 2017. "We release it every four years to allow time for data trends to change, and also to introduce the state of the nation's infrastructure to a new president as he or she is setting the agenda," says Feenstra.