The White House has issued report cards on the quality of infrastructure across all 50 states to highlight why officials say a massive infrastructure bill is necessary. California received a C- grade on the report card.
The Biden administration released fact sheets that break down how each state stacks up in 12 key areas of infrastructure that would be addressed under the American Jobs Plan, President Joe Biden’s $2.3-trillion proposal to create jobs and invest in traditional infrastructure like roads and railways, as well as more progressive areas like the care economy and climate-friendly industries.
“The fact sheets highlight the number of bridges and miles of road in each state in poor condition, the percentage of households without access to broadband, the billions of dollars required for water infrastructure, among other infrastructure needs,” according to a White House press release.
Each state was assessed on how it is faring in terms of roads and bridges, public transportation, resilient infrastructure, drinking water, housing, broadband, caregiving, child care, manufacturing, home energy, clean energy jobs, and veterans’ health—and none of them did well. Most states received an overall C or C- grade, with Georgia and Utah leading the pack with C+ grades. No state managed to garner a B grade or above, and several states, including Biden’s home state of Delaware, received D grades. California coasted in the middle with a C- grade.
The White House’s fact sheet for California starts out with a call to action, stating, “For decades, infrastructure in California has suffered from a systemic lack of investment. The need for action is clear.” The report goes on to include assessments in each of these traditional aspects of infrastructure, as well as the proposed investment that the American Jobs Plan would make nationally in each of those sectors.
Roads and bridges
In California, there are 1536 bridges and over 22,885 km (14,220 mi) of highway in poor condition. Since 2011, commute times have increased by 14.6 percent and on average, each driver pays $799 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair. The American Jobs Plan will devote more than $600 billion to transform our nations’ transportation infrastructure and make it more resilient, including $115 billion repairing roads and bridges.
Californians who take public transportation spend an extra 66.6 percent of their time commuting and non-White households are 1.6 times more likely to commute via public transportation. Sixteen percent of trains and other transit vehicles in the state are past useful life. The American Jobs Plan will modernize public transit with an $85-billion investment.
Over the next 20 years, California’s drinking water infrastructure will require $51 billion in additional funding. The American Jobs Plan includes a $111 billion investment to ensure clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities.
From 2010 to 2020, California experienced 16 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $50 to 1000 billion in damages. The President is calling for $50 billion to improve the resiliency of our infrastructure and support communities’ recovery from disaster.
Click here to see how the other states scored on the Infrastructure Report Card.