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Pennsylvania's infrastructure gets C-minus, council says

Emily Balser
| Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, 1:33 p.m.
The Tarentum Bridge.  May 17, 2018.
Steven Adams | Tribune-Review
The Tarentum Bridge. May 17, 2018.

Pennsylvania isn’t quite making the grade when it comes to its infrastructure.

The state earned a cumulative GPA of a C-minus on the 2018 Report Card for Pennsylvania’s Infrastructure .

The Pennsylvania State Council representing the Central Pennsylvania, Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh sections of the American Society of Civil Engineers present the 2018 report card.

The report was released Wednesday and included an evaluation of the state’s aviation, bridges, dams, drinking water, energy, freight rail, hazardous waste, inland waterways, levees, parks and recreation, passenger rail, ports, roads, schools, solid waste, stormwater, transit and wastewater.

The water categories received some of the lowest grades. Stormwater and drinking water each received D grades, while wastewater earned a D-minus.

Much of Pennsylvania’s water infrastructure requires repair, replacement, and capacity upgrades, according to a press release. Pipes are exceeding 100 years in age and there is a significant funding gap between dollars spent and what is needed.

Among the highest grades was the state’s freight rail, with a B, and parks and recreation and hazardous waste each with a B-minus. Freight rail infrastructure in the state has benefited from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Freight Rail Bureau and private sector support.

The committee suggests that local and state government continue to make the infrastructure a priority and invest in improvement projects. They also suggest private industry should have a seat at the table to help identify new technologies and foster collaboration.

Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 724-226-4680, emilybalser@tribweb.com or via Twitter @emilybalser.

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