NLC Statement on Release of ASCE 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure

March 3, 2021

Washington, D.C. – Today, the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) released its 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, giving the nation’s infrastructure a “C-” overall. The report card reinforces the urgent need to address building sustainable infrastructure, a key priority in the National League of Cities’ (NLC) Cities Agenda. Following the release of the report, NLC CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony issued the following statement:

“This new Report Card from the nation’s engineers shows we are far behind what is needed to keep up our critical infrastructure and ensure that it is fit to serve communities across the country. Congress must partner with cities, towns and villages to significantly increase infrastructure investment and protect the long-term health and stability of our communities.

“With the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic devastating local budgets and postponing public works projects, it will take collective action across local, state and federal governments, as well as robust partnerships with the private sector, to overcome the $2.6 trillion investment gap we are facing. Sixty-five percent of cities, towns and villages were forced to delay or completely cancel capital expenditures and infrastructure projects as a result of budget shortfalls caused by the pandemic, widening this investment gap even further. Local leaders know how important these investments are, as investing in infrastructure development creates jobs, fuels our nation’s economic recovery, and delivers innovative and sustainable solutions that make the lives of their communities better.

“We call on Congress and the Biden administration to advance bold legislation that connects our communities, shores up our legacy systems, and rebuilds and reimagines our nation’s critical transportation, water and broadband networks.”

NLC’s Leading Together 2020 Cities Agenda is a nonpartisan picture of the critical issues facing America’s residents and local elected leaders, including the challenge of building sustainable infrastructure. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, much of our nation’s infrastructure was in dire need of repair, improvement, and modernization to meet the demands of the 21st century. Now, more than ever, the federal government must prioritize infrastructure development. NLC calls on the Biden administration to:

  • Improve our nation’s transportation infrastructure by partnering with local governments to rebuild and fully fund the nation’s transportation needs, better connect our regions, and innovate with technology and sustainable solutions;
  • Work with local governments to expand and implement new revenue mechanisms that reflect the true cost of every mode of transportation and increase grant funding and flexibility for Road to Zero and safety projects;
  • Improve our nation’s water infrastructure by fully funding infrastructure finance mechanisms and providing direct funding for local efforts to manage stormwater, improve system resiliency, address lead and other drinking water contaminants, promote water infrastructure-related workforce development, and accelerate the use of innovative technologies;
  • Ensure that reliable, affordable broadband service is available to all; and
  • Strengthen community resilience and modernize our nation’s infrastructure by urgently taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support local efforts to prepare for extreme weather events and unavoidable climate impacts.

More information about the 2020 Cities Agenda and NLC’s infrastructure priorities is available here.

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The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.