The state of infrastructure in a country is usually a key measure of the living standards of any given country. In the United States, the nature of infrastructure is measured based on the use of renewable energy sources, citizen’s access to the internet, and the quality of road systems. According to the American Society of civil engineers, most states in the US lag behind in infrastructural development. For this reason, President Trump has called upon the Congress to help him implement a $1.5 trillion project aimed at improving the nation's roads, rail systems, bridges, ports, airlines, and public utilities. West Virginia, Mississippi, and Rhodes Island are the top three states with the most deplorable infrastructure in the US. Albeit being great economic assets for these states, there is a critical underpinning of the state’s economic future following the deteriorating state of the roads, airports, bridges, and rail systems.
States With The Worst Infrastructure
West Virginia is one of the four states that maintains an entire highway system in the nation. However, it has some of America’s worst roads with 36 % of the state’s major roads being in either poor or mediocre condition while 35% of the bridges being structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Nearly half of the bridges in West Virginia’s interstate system need significant repairs and reconstruction by the year 2026 if it is to meet its goal of being an economic hub for locals and investors. The painful decline of the coal industry in the state has led to a significant decline of the state’s revenue for reviving infrastructure leading to alternative measures such as increasing gasoline taxes and license fee for the residents.
Mississippi’s state of infrastructure is among the worst in the United States with 51% of the roads being in mediocre conditions and 13% of the bridges being deficient. The Gulfport, which is the third fully engaged port in the Gulf of Mexico, is a potential source of revenues for the State when expanded. The state and the federal government have to kick in a sizeable amount of resources to revive the road system to augment the port's role as an economic hub for transportation of natural gas and military equipment.
Albeit making considerable strides in many facets of competitiveness, Rhode Island ranks in the first position among the states with the worst infrastructure in the US. Rhode Island is the only northern state that does not charge user fees for heavy commercial vehicles, which are among the major cause of the deteriorating road network in the state. Energy costs in Rhode Island have been on the rise over the years impeding investments by foreign investors. Although the governor has implemented a repair program, the state is in dire need of airports and railway systems, which are contending with an unexpected budget shortfall.
Success in the 21st-century economy requires strategic and sustained investment, committed leadership, tentative planning, and careful preparation for the needs of the future. Although plans are underway with the Trump leadership to improve the state of infrastructure in the US, strategic steps must be undertaken to enhance the level of development in the long-run.