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Civil Engineers Grade California’s Infrastructure with a C-

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SACRAMENTO -- One doesn't have to look far to realize California's infrastructure is deteriorating.

"California has a number of challenges that we are struggling to keep up with. First of all, our infrastructure is aging and we also have a growing population," John Hogan, co-chair of the California Report Card Committee, told FOX40.

Failing power lines and crumbling roads are just some of the major issues highlighted in the American Society of Civil Engineers' 2019 report card.

It's an analysis that comes out every six years, grading 17 different areas of infrastructure including waterways, aviation and schools.

This year, California received an average grade of C-, getting C's and D's in all 17 categories.

"Transit, rail, schools, parks, wastewater, I mean it goes on and on and on and, yes, a lot of those categories are items that people take for granted, don't think about," Hogan said.

The energy sector received the lowest grade in the report -- a D-.

Engineers say most power systems in the state are not well-equipped to handle future disasters.

"Aging equipment, inferior design and poor right-of-way vegetation management have caused infrastructure incidents, and in some cases, unfortunately, wildfires," committee co-chair Tony Akel said.

Engineers also pointed to other recent disasters, like the collapse of the Oroville Dam spillway to show why more maintenance is needed. They say most dams in the state are at least 50 years old.

"Dams provide 70 percent of California's water supply, 15 percent of the power, flood control and recreation," Akel said.

But the biggest hurdle in making these repairs is funding. Engineers say the state faces billions of dollars in the cost of maintenance that has been delayed.

That's why they met with lawmakers at the State Capitol, urging them to adopt policies to support infrastructure, and they say failing to act now could cost Californians six times as much in the future.

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