America's Infrastructure Needs Some Love, but Will Rising Rates Check Spending?

Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) releases its report card on the condition of America’s infrastructure. In 2017, the group gave the U.S. a dismal D+, writing that crumbling infrastructure “is impeding our ability to compete in the thriving global economy.”

The 2021 report demonstrates slight progress from four years ago. America’s infrastructure scored a C-, the first time in 20 years that our “GPA” is out of the D range.

But as those of you with kids and grandkids know, a C- is nothing to celebrate. Much work still remains to bring our roads, bridges, sea ports, electric grids and more up to satisfactory standards.

That means there may be some incredible opportunities for investors in companies that produce the metals, minerals and other raw materials that will be needed with an increase in spending.

According to the ASCE, the U.S. faces a $2.6 trillion investment gap over the next 10 years. Among the most critical is the nation’s 4 million miles of public roadways, 40% of which is now considered to be in “poor” or “mediocre” condition. Deteriorating, congested roads and highways cost U.S. motorists a combined $130 billion every year in wasted time and fuel, not to mention vehicle repair.

The U.S. has been underfunding its roadways for years, resulting in a $786 billion backlog of road and bridge capital needs, the ASCE says.

Not all roads are made equal, though. I’m pleased to report that our home state of Texas topped the list of best states to drive in, based on four factors including traffic and infrastructure, according to WalletHub. Indiana, North Carolina, Iowa and Tennessee rounded out the top five. Hawaii was found to be the state with the worst commuting conditions, followed by California, Washington, Maryland and Delaware.

Best and worst stated to drive in
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