Take a look at White House report card which gives Mississippi poor scores for roads, bridges, other infrastructure

Published 12:33 pm Monday, April 12, 2021

The White House gives a D+ to Mississippi’s current infrastructure that it says suffers from a systemic lack of investment.

The report card is part of a state-by-state review by the White House that aims to stress the need for infrastructure investment across the country. The report card was released to help promote President Joe Biden $2 trillion infrastructure plan, called the American Jobs Plan.

The proposal aims to rebuild 20,000 miles of roads, expand access to clean water and broadband and invest in care for the elderly, NBC News reported.

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On Monday, the White House released report cards for each state.

Highlights of the Mississippi report include:

  • ROADS AND BRIDGES: In Mississippi, there are 1,386 bridges and over 5,840 miles of highway in poor condition.
  • RESILIENT INFRASTRUCTURE: From 2010 to 2020, Mississippi has experienced 33 extreme weather events, costing the state up to $10 billion in damages.
  • DRINKING WATER: Over the next 20 years, Mississippi’s drinking water infrastructure will require $4.8 billion in additional funding.
  • BROADBAND: 26% of Mississippians live in areas where, by one definition, there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds. And 50.1% of Mississippians live in areas where there is only one such internet provider.

Click here for a PDF of the entire Mississippi report card.

Click here for a link to the state-by-state report cards for other states. 

The figures in the state summaries paint a decidedly bleak outlook for the world’s largest economy after years of repairs being deferred and delayed. They suggest that too much infrastructure is unsafe for vehicles at any speed, while highlighting the costs of extreme weather events that have become more frequent with climate change as well as dead spots for broadband and a dearth of child care options.

President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet Monday afternoon with Republican and Democratic lawmakers and can use the state summaries to show that his plan would help meet the needs of their constituents.

Drawn from an array of private and public data, the reports show there are 7,300 miles (11,748 kilometers) of highway in Michigan alone that are in poor condition. Damaged streets in North Carolina impose an average yearly cost of $500 on motorists. Iowa has 4,571 bridges in need of repair. There is a roughly 4-in-10 chance that a public transit vehicle in Indiana might be ready for the scrap yard. Pennsylvania’s schools are short $1.4 billion for maintenance and upgrades.

Most states received a letter grade on their infrastructure. West Virginia earned a D. So did Biden’s home state of Delaware. Of the states rated, the highest grade went to Georgia and Utah, which each notched a C-plus. The lowest grade, D-minus, went to the territory of Puerto Rico.

The administration is banking that the data will confirm the everyday experiences of Americans as they bump over potholes, get trapped in traffic jams and wait for buses that almost never correspond to published schedules. There is already a receptive audience to the sales pitch, and the strategy is that public support can overcome any congressional misgivings.

“We don’t have a lot of work to do to persuade the American people that U.S. infrastructure needs major improvement,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Fox News Channel’s “Fox News Sunday” ahead of the reports’ release. “The American people already know it.”

“This is a massive social welfare spending program combined with a massive tax increase on small-business job creators,” Sen Roger Wicker, R-Miss., said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “I can’t think of a worse thing to do.”

Yet the state-by-state reports make clear that many of the people Wicker represents could benefit from the package, an aspect of the Biden effort to engender the backing of voters across party lines.

Wicker was among four Republicans on the White House guest list for Biden’s Monday meeting, along with Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Reps. Garret Graves of Louisiana and Don Young of Alaska. Democrats on the list were Sens. Maria Cantwell of Washington and Alex Padilla of California and Reps. Donald Payne Jr. of New Jersey and David Price of North Carolina.