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Why the Country's Infrastructure Has Continuously Had a D+ Rating

calendar Apr. 29, 2021user-iconTXNDT
Rail road in the woods

Infrastructure is a vital part of life in any country. It doesn't just affect those who travel by rail or other public transportation. Infrastructure encompasses more than most of us realize.

Broadbands, dams, public parks, drinking water, energy, and a number of other vital elements of daily life are all considered a part of The United States’ infrastructure. Unfortunately, due to various reasons, many of the different aspects of our infrastructure don’t receive high marks. Public transit, for example, receives a D- from the ASCE or American Society for Civil Engineers.

American scores range from somewhat high (a B for rail) to shamefully low (a D for stormwater). On average, the American infrastructure score typically averages out to somewhere near a D+, though more recently, scores have been creeping up to a C-.

Low infrastructure scores have plagued the US for several years-- but why?

Why Is the US Infrastructure Poorly Rated?

Grading Process

When considering the low grade of the American infrastructure, it is important to consider how the grades are earned. According to the ASCE, a specially selected committee of engineers assess relevant data and consult with others all over the country to evaluate the following and assign a grade:

  • Capacity: Does the infrastructure’s capacity meet current and future demands?

  • Condition: What is the infrastructure’s existing and near-future physical condition?

  • Funding: What is the current level of funding from all levels of government for the infrastructure category as compared to the estimated funding need?

  • Future Need: What is the cost to improve the infrastructure? Will future funding prospects address the need?

  • Operation and Maintenance: What is the owners’ ability to operate and maintain the infrastructure properly? Is the infrastructure in compliance with government regulations?

  • Public Safety: To what extent is the public’s safety jeopardized by the condition of the infrastructure, and what could be the consequences of failure?

  • Resilience: What is the infrastructure system’s capability to prevent or protect against significant multi-hazard threats and incidents? How can it quickly recover and reconstitute critical services with minimum consequences for public safety and health, the economy, and national security?

  • Innovation: What new and innovative techniques, materials, technologies, and delivery methods are being implemented to improve the infrastructure?


Clearly, if an asset or part of the infrastructure isn’t capable of meeting these requirements, there is a lot at risk. For example, according to the ASCE, a water main breaks every two minutes, resulting in the loss of 6 billion gallons of water every day! Inadequate roads can lead to expensive damage to your car or dangerous accidents between multiple vehicles. You can imagine the kind of disaster that can occur from low-graded aviation, bridges, and other vital fields. These are just a few of the overall risks American infrastructure faces every day.

Improvement with NDT

Nondestructive testing is one of the best ways to inspect and repair infrastructure regularly and ensure it's up to date. Without these crucial methods, there is no way to thoroughly inspect infrastructure assets without causing even more damage. It's more important than ever that NDT technicians are highly qualified and properly trained to enter into their field and support the infrastructure of our country, and continue to make positive changes for future generations. Without properly trained and knowledgeable technicians, the results could be lethal.

Contact TXNDT Today!

Qualified NDT technicians need great training to help improve the poor state of our country’s infrastructure. Whether you are looking to hire nondestructive testing services to protect your assets or become a technician through NDT technician training, it is crucial to choose the right company to meet your NDT needs.

TXNDT is a cut above the rest with superior NDT courses, knowledgeable instructors, and hands-on coursework to prepare all prospective technicians for the field. When lives are on the line, choose the best people for the job. Check us out online, or give us a call today at 281-231-0001 to see how TXNDT can work for you!