ASU professor: Arizona’s infrastructure could deteriorate without proper investment

Mar 15, 2017, 4:39 AM

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PHOENIX — The quality of Arizona’s infrastructure ranks above the national average, but one professor warned that it could quickly deteriorate without the proper investment.

A recent report from the American Society of Civil Engineers gave Arizona a C for infrastructure when the state was last graded in 2015, just slightly above the current national grade of a D+.

But Arizona State University economics professor Dennis Hoffman said the state could soon start to see failing grades if proper intervention is not taken.

“We’re nowhere near third-world [countries] certainly, but you let it erode over time and that’s the direction in which you’re moving,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman pointed to past Arizona projects, such as the Palo Verde Nuclear Plant, the Central Arizona Project and a 5-cent sales tax to fund highway development, as projects that repaired the state’s crumbling infrastructure and helped grow the economy.

“All three of those have been absolutely vital in economic development progression in the state of Arizona,” Hoffman said. “That means people moving here, that means jobs here, that means a sustainable economy.”

Hoffman said it is important to recognize the developments that helped residents establish their current way-of-life and to avoid complicity with the current state of our infrastructure.

“It’s time to think about re-investing or continually investing in these things,” he said.

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ASU professor: Arizona’s infrastructure could deteriorate without proper investment