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NC State Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “The Age and Quality of Infrastructure”


Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.   Today’s program looks at the age and quality of our infrastructure.   Mike, we rely on infrastructure like roads, sewers, water treatment plants, and the power grid every day in our busy lives.  Yet, other than roads, most of these important facilities are hidden to us.   But since we don’t see the facilities, are we ignoring some problems?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. Two issues – age and quality
  2. The age of all of our infrastructure is rising
  3. Average road is 27 years old; 30 years ago was 18 years old
  4. Average sewer system is 25 years old; 30 years ago was 19 years old
  5. Age is related to quality
  6. One rating of infrastructure quality shows it has dropped 10% in just the last decade
  7. Old age and low quality mean greater likelihood for problems and higher maintenance expenses
  8. I’ MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service