Cartegraph released findings from its inaugural State of Infrastructure Funding and Technology research report today. The organization partnered with the Center for Digital Government to survey hundreds of U.S. state and local government leaders on their jurisdictions’ pressing infrastructure needs and readiness to utilize federal funding. The survey findings revealed challenges in leveraging new funding sources and concerns surrounding deferred maintenance, workforce shortages, and outdated technology.
Seventy-three percent of respondents indicated the most pressing need for improving the condition of their jurisdiction’s infrastructure is funding—both for maintenance and new projects. However, 63% of those surveyed reported that their community is not fully prepared to apply for and use federal funds. The most common challenges in leveraging funds for infrastructure were staffing (38%), identifying funding (33%), applying for funding (31%), out-of-date technology or equipment (25%), and identifying or prioritizing needs (24%).
Among the survey’s other key findings:
In Need of Improvement
Sixty-three percent of respondents rated their infrastructure as fair or worse. Roads (58%), broadband (35%), bridges and tunnels (34%), stormwater (34%), and buildings and facilities (34%) were identified as the top five infrastructure areas in need of improvement.
Fix It First
After funding challenges, survey respondents listed addressing their deferred maintenance backlog as their next most pressing need. Three in four respondents involved with infrastructure projects reported deferred maintenance costs as a concern.
Staffing Shortage Woes
More than one in three respondents faces staffing challenges. Finance departments are particularly under pressure, with 48% reporting staffing issues.
Behind the Times
Jurisdictions still rely on outdated technology to track and manage assets according to respondents at least somewhat involved in infrastructure projects. Forty-eight percent of those surveyed rely on spreadsheets, 34% use paper records and 12% have no system in place.
Technology Impacts Performance
Those using off-the-shelf or custom software to manage their infrastructure were 42% more likely to rate their processes and systems as good or better. Those using spreadsheets and paper records were over 2.5 times as likely to report their processes and systems as poor or worse. Further, those using off-the-shelf or custom software were 46% more likely to rate the overall condition of their infrastructure as good or better. Those using spreadsheets and paper records were 36% more likely to report the condition as poor or worse.
For a complete report of findings, respondent demographics, expert quotes and additional resources, please visit cartegraph.com/infrastructure.
About the Survey
In February and March 2022, Cartegraph and the Center for Digital Government conducted a national survey of 259 state and local government leaders known as “The State of Infrastructure Funding and Technology.” The survey included 15 questions, and the responses were analyzed to identify trends across key verticals, including levels of government, agency, or department types and job roles. To download the summary report, visit cartegraph.com/infrastructure.
Cartegraph, an OpenGov company, builds safer, more resilient and sustainable communities through better stewardship of buildings and critical infrastructure. They offer powerful, intuitive SaaS solutions that help government agencies, utilities and educational institutions manage their physical assets and associated operations. With Cartegraph software, users optimize the life of their infrastructure, deploy maintenance resources efficiently and increase productivity to drive high-performance operations. For more information, visit cartegraph.com.
About the Center for Digital Government
The Center for Digital Government is a national research and advisory institute on information technology policies and best practices in state and local government. Through its diverse and dynamic programs and services, the Center provides public and private sector leaders with decision support, knowledge, and opportunities to help them effectively incorporate new technologies in the 21st century. Learn more at govtech.com/cdg.