If you get a C- at school, you're not doing very well and your teachers are likely to tell your folks that a vast improvement is needed if you're going to make the grade. Well, imagine if it's not mathematics or English literature that is at stake, but the infrastructure of the country in which you live and you'll have some idea of what's not been happening in the USA. The country is in dire need of sorting out its infrastructure, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, which has given the country as a whole a rather depressing C- for the current state of its bridges, dams, drinking water, energy, levees, parks, ports, rail, road and other areas, such as hazardous waste, schools, transportation and so on.

Here's something to think about: in the USA, there is a water mains break every two minutes, losing an estimated six billion gallons of water every day. Every day! Did you know that 43% of North America's public roads are in a poor or mediocre condition and that, in addition to 30,000 miles of inventoried levees across the US, there's an additional 10,000 miles whose location and condition are unknown? Worrying stuff, and it's an issue the US steel industry has been banging on about for some time because when you think about it, steel, as a product, can be put to good use on infrastructure projects. Furthermore, the industry could do with the work and the country could do with the extra jobs such work would create.

US Steel's CEO, David Burritt, is clear about the situation and has responded to the ASCE's findings.

“The report makes it clear that we’re long overdue for meaningful infrastructure funding. Until we take significant action, we will continue to fall behind our global competitors, while the drag on the economy continues to grow with every passing day,” Burritt said.

“If Congress and the administration take decisive action and invest in infrastructure, they can create millions of jobs, make the domestic supply chain and manufacturing more competitive, and save families money. An infrastructure bill provides no-regrets stimulus, with lasting benefits to our society and economy.”