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Trump and Dems agree America's infrastructure needs a $2 trillion fix. These 5 states are in the best shape in 2019

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It is one of the few things that Republicans and Democrats seem to agree on, yet they cannot seem to bring themselves to talk about it: America's infrastructure needs a major overhaul to ensure our country is built for the future. President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have even agreed on a price tag of $2 trillion — although the American Society of Civil Engineers puts it closer to $4.5 trillion. Nevertheless, talks have stalled.

Assuming a federal package is eventually passed, policymakers may want to look at a handful of states that have managed to keep their infrastructures relatively intact despite Washington's inaction. These states know that a solid infrastructure is a competitive advantage when it comes to attracting business and jobs.

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In fact, infrastructure is one of the 10 categories of competitiveness in CNBC's annual America's Top States for Business rankings. We use government data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Census Bureau and the Environmental Protection Agency to evaluate each state's roads, bridges, railways, waterways, ports, airports and utilities, as well as the size of the population within a day's drive.

The rankings show that some states are in dire straits. But the five states listed below are managing to stay on solid ground.

5. (tie) Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee, USA downtown skyline at dusk.
Sean Pavone | iStock | Getty Images

The Volunteer State is home to the nation's premier public-private partnership, the Tennessee Valley Authority, which provides electricity to most of Tennessee and parts of six other states. Established in 1933 under the New Deal and owned by the federal government, the TVA is now self-sufficient, funded entirely through electricity sales, and bonds sold to investors. The arrangement allows planners in Tennessee to focus on other infrastructure issues. The state's roads and bridges are well maintained, and its central location provides easy access to a large swath of population.

2019 Infrastructure score: 221 out of 350 points (Top States grade: A-)
US population within 500 miles: 105,322,087
Average commute to work: 24.8 minutes (U.S. average: 26.4 minutes)
Bridges in poor condition: 4.3%
Roads in unacceptable condition: 12%
20-year water-system needs: $8.8 billion

5. (tie) Georgia

Cargo ships sit docked at the Port of Savannah in Georgia
Ty Wright | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Peach State is home to America's busiest airport — Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International. But Georgia's infrastructure prowess only begins there. Deepwater ports in Savannah and Brunswick, along with inland barge operations in Bainbridge and Columbus, transport Georgia goods around the world. Congested highways make for long commutes, but roads and bridges are in remarkably good shape, especially considering the volume they carry.

2019 Infrastructure score: 221 out of 350 points (Top States grade: A-)
US population within 500 miles: 76,325,931
Average commute to work: 28 minutes
Bridges in poor condition: 3.3%
Roads in unacceptable condition: 8.2%
20-year water-system needs: $12.5 billion

4. Ohio

Rail yard in Oregon, Ohio
Mike Kline | Moment Open | Getty Images

In infrastructure as in real estate, three of the most important things are location, location and location. The Buckeye State certainly has all three, with easy access to the entire Midwest and the Eastern Seaboard. Major ports on the Great Lakes and Ohio River make the state a leader in the value of goods shipped. Ohio's robust rail network carried some 289 million tons of freight in 2017, among the busiest in the nation.

2019 Infrastructure score: 228 out of 350 points (Top States grade: A)
US population within 500 miles: 136,974,897
Average commute to work: 23.4 minutes
Bridges in poor condition: 5.6%
Roads in unacceptable condition: 15.3%
20-year water-system needs: $13.4 billion

3. Kansas

On the road in Kansas
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Getting around in the Sunflower State is a breeze, with some of the nation's best maintained highways. That helps Kansas take advantage of its prime location in the geographical center of the country. Highway maintenance had been on the chopping block for several years in order to pay for deep tax cuts. The cuts have since been repealed.

2019 Infrastructure score: 229 out of 350 points (Top States grade: A)
US population within 500 miles: 41,775,422
Average commute to work: 19.2 minutes
Bridges in poor condition: 5.2%
Roads in unacceptable condition: 4.1%
20-year water-system needs: $5.3 billion

2. Kentucky

A paddlewheel riverboat on the Ohio River in Kentucky
Getty Images

With seven key ports on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, the Bluegrass State is an important shipping gateway to the nation and beyond. By land the state ranks fifth in the nation in terms of population within a day's drive. Highways are well maintained, and the rail network is robust. Some 227 million tons of freight passed through Kentucky in 2017, the 12th highest total in the nation.

2019 Infrastructure score: 231 out of 350 points (Top States grade: A)
US population within 500 miles: 114,706,970
Average commute to work: 23.1 minutes
Bridges in poor condition: 7.1%
Roads in unacceptable condition: 6.8%
20-year water-system needs: $8.2 billion

1. Indiana

William Andrew | Photographer's Choice RF | Getty Images

The Crossroads of America lives up to its nickname, and not just because of the four major interstate highways that meet in Indianapolis. Indiana is a key access point, with roughly one-third of the nation's population located within a day's drive. The state is looking to protect that advantage by spending $1 billion on a variety of road projects under a plan unveiled last year by Gov. Eric Holcomb. And Indiana's byways are not only on land. Its three ports are strategically located, with one on the Great Lakes and two on the Ohio River. Put it all together and Indiana ranks 11th nationally in the value of goods shipped from the state.

2019 Infrastructure score: 241 out of 350 points (Top States grade: A+)
US population within 500 miles: 109,073,615
Average commute to work: 23.4 minutes
Bridges in poor condition: 6.2%
Roads in unacceptable condition: 9.4%
20-year water-system needs: $7.5 billion

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