While the nation’s infrastructure earned a “D+” in the 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, Arkansas faces infrastructure challenges of its own. For example, driving on roads in need of repair in Arkansas costs each driver $543 per year, and 5.9% of bridges are rated structurally deficient. Drinking water needs in Arkansas are an estimated $7.38 billion, and wastewater needs total $715 million. 193 dams are considered to be high-hazard potential. The state’s schools have an estimated capital expenditure gap of $587 million. This deteriorating infrastructure impedes Arkansas’ ability to compete in an increasingly global marketplace. Success in a 21st century economy requires serious, sustained leadership on infrastructure investment at all levels of government. Delaying these investments only escalates the cost and risks of an aging infrastructure system, an option that the country, Arkansas, and families can no longer afford.
Key Facts about Arkansas's Infrastructure
78 public-use airports
765 (5.94%) of the 12,864 bridges are structurally deficient
193 high hazard dams
Dams with EAPS
70% of the state regulated dams have an Emergency Action Plan
$7.38 billion in drinking water infrastructure needs over the next 20 years
9 sites on the National Priorities List
1,860 miles of inland waterways, ranking it 3rd
1,458 miles of levees
18.2 million short tons of cargo in 2012, ranking it 30th nationally
$231.72 million of unmet needs for its parks system
2,505 miles of freight railroads across the state, ranking 26th nationally
$543 per motorist per year in costs from driving on roads in need of repair
102,603 miles of Public Roads, with 17% in poor condition
$587 million gap in estimated school capital expenditures
6,183,297 annual unlinked passenger trips via transit systems including bus, transit, and commuter trains
$715 million in wastewater infrastructure needs over the next 20 years
Our nation’s infrastructure problems are solvable if we have leadership and commit to making good ideas a reality. Raising the grades on our infrastructure will require that we seek and adopt a wide range of solutions.
With State and local government losing revenues from transit ridership and motor fuel taxes, now is the time for Congress to provide immediate and necessary relief to ensure that all sectors of our infrastructure remain safe and reliable.