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Fixing America's Infrastructure: Aging infrastructure costing taxpayers millions

Posted at 3:56 PM, Aug 23, 2018

Infrastructure spending going to be a hot topic in the upcoming midterm elections, with many asking, how are we going to pay to fix America’s aging roads?

Correspondent Nicole Vowell traveled to Rhode Island, the smallest state with some of the biggest infrastructure problems.

The tiny part of New England spans only about 1,500 square miles and is one of the oldest states. Combined with Rhode Island being nearly 33 percent water, the state is fighting a tough battle to keep roads and bridges intact.

Casey Dinges, director of the American Society of Civil Engineers, says one in four of their bridges is structurally deficient. That means, he says, safety standards are ramped up.

"That bridge will be inspected every year, instead of the standard every two years,” explains Dinges of one of the bridges in the area.

The Ocean State may be facing the most worries, but Dinges says, overall, the U.S. just isn't that structurally sound.

Last year, Rhode Island earned a dismal D+ infrastructure rating.

"We've been deferring maintenance and under investing in our infrastructure for decades,” Dinges says of the rating.

Of the nearly 800 bridges in the state, approximately 200 of them are considered structurally deficient, which is costing taxpayers millions of dollars to fix.

Dinges says for every family in the U.S., it amounts to about $9 per day.

The overall goal, Didges says, is for federal and local government to get on board and invest over the next 10 years to upgrade America’s infrastructure.

"The allocations for what the state needs has not been enough,” Dinges says.