Every four years the American Society of Civil Engineers issues a report on the state of America's infrastructure, extensively cited by the media. This year's report, released March 9, shows no improvement over 2013's, but do check the subcategories
The report grades a wide variety of infrastructure, 16 in all. Only one form received a decent grade: freight rail, a 'B'. That might seem a bit odd considering Tuesday's horrendous crash of a tour bus and CSX locomotive at a grade crossing in Biloxi, Mississippi, resulting in four fatalities. However, the rail report (pdf) accounts for these incidents:
Railroads have been reconfiguring highway-rail crossings to separate the two and improve safety. While fewer people are being killed or sustaining injuries in highway-rail crossing incidents, 237 people were killed and 991 people were injured in 2015.
Another high-profile incident last month that called attention to America's need for investment in aging infrastructure was the evacuation of almost 200,000 residents in northern California due to fears that the Oroville Dam's emergency spillway would fail. In South Carolina, nine dams were breached in 2015. Dams received a grade of D, same as 2013. According to the overview on this section:
[T]he overall number of high-hazard potential dams is increasing, with the number climbing to nearly 15,500 in 2016. Due to the lack of investment, the number of deficient high-hazard potential dams has also climbed to an estimated 2,170 or more. It is estimated that it will require an investment of nearly $45 billion to repair aging, yet critical, high-hazard potential dams.