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Connecticut receives C grade for infrastructure on civil engineer report card

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Route 8/I-84 Mixmaster Rehabilitation project
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Route 8/I-84 project update photo from September 2022 in Waterbury.

Connecticut’s infrastructure receives a “C” for being in poor condition, according to the 2022 report card from the Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers.

Its 2022 infrastructure report card released on Tuesday assessed the modernization of the state’s bridges, railways, roads, wastewater and drinking water. While the card did show improvements from 2018’s report card, which received an overall grade of C-, there are still areas of Connecticut's infrastructure that need to be improved.

“Anybody who drives, anybody who rides the rails, knows we have 248 bridges and 2,100 miles of roads in poor condition” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), who met with the society and Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary to identify investment priorities.

Overall the state received a C grade, which means the infrastructure is in “mediocre condition” and needs attention. This is better than the national infrastructure grade average of a C-. Connecticut’s roads received the worst grade of a D+, while the state’s railway system received the best grade of a B. Both the state’s bridges and drinking water received a C, while wastewater received a grade of a C-.

Connecticut is home to some of the oldest infrastructure in the country. Much of the infrastructure is over 50 years old and beyond its life expectancy. Some even date as far back as the late 1800s or the early 1900s.

“Our water mains and our valves are 109 years old and they need to be replaced and we’re doing it incrementally,” said Roy Merritt, a senior construction engineer at Lochner and the 2022 report card chair.

For a decade now, Connecticut has made improvements to its infrastructure across the state. This is especially seen in high traffic areas such as Waterbury’s I-84 Mixmaster Rehabilitation project.

“There is no shortage of projects ahead of us," said Mark Rolfe, state transportation deputy commissioner. “From tracks to railcars to stations and everything in between, and while we made improvements across the board we recognize that more needs to be done."

“And Connecticut [Department of Transportation] is up for the task. Thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we have a historic influx of funding to help address our critical infrastructure needs,” he continued.

This federal spending plan will provide Connecticut with over $5 billion in funding over the next five years, to address dire infrastructure improvements.

Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.