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PA Infrastructure Given a Grade of C-

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

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In a recent report presented by the Pennsylvania State Council, speaking on behalf of the the Central Pennsylvania, Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the infrastructure of the state of Pennsylvania was given a C-, averaging grades for bridges, dams, passenger rail and other infrastructure.

The grading scale ranges through the traditional A through F, with A signifying infrastructure as excellent, and F marking infrastructure as failing, unfit to be used. The report card was compiled by over 75 civil engineers who volunteered their time to analyze data and prepare their findings.

Pennsylvania Infrastructure Score

Grades were based on eight criteria: capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation and maintenance, public safety, resilience and innovation. Pennsylvania’s bridges received a D+, dams a C, freight rail a B, levees a C, passenger rail a C-, ports a C+, roads a D+, stormwater a D and wastewater a D+-, among others.

drnadig / Getty Images

In a recent report presented by the Pennsylvania State Council, speaking on behalf of the the Central Pennsylvania, Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the infrastructure of the state of Pennsylvania was given a C-, averaging grades for bridges, dams, passenger rail and other infrastructure. (Pictured: Fort Pitt Bridge in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which is currently marked as being in fair condition.)

The report notes that the overall grade of C- “reflects the same letter grade as the 2014 Report Card for Pennsylvania’s Infrastructure, indicating that while some aspects of our state’s infrastructure have improved, others have degraded.” This is due to many pieces of infrastructure serving well beyond its intended lifespan.

Since the 2014 report, the following steps have been taken to rectify some problems:

  • Advancing 2,600 transportation projects into construction as a result of Act 89 funding;
  • The construction of two new levee systems with 12 new systems/rehabilitations under design as a result of increased funding; and
  • A program that will implement a public-private partnership to replace 558 bridges that are in poor condition.

Though these improvements helped better the state’s infrastructure grade, there are still areas of concern including:

  • Pennsylvania being the state with the most combined sewer overflows;
  • Aging drinking water mains that saw a 40 percent increase in breaks; and
  • Lack of consistent funding as well as extended age that has allowed “the condition of inland waterways to deteriorate to the point that watercraft locks and dams have become severely impeded, upwards of 220 hours of delay for a for single vessel,” according to the report.

“All Pennsylvanians—citizens, agencies, and policy makers—need to decide if they value the personal and economic benefits of a robust infrastructure network. If the answer is ‘yes,’ they need to make infrastructure improvement a top priority,” the report says. “Solid infrastructure keeps Pennsylvanians safe and prosperous.”

   

Tagged categories: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); Bridges; Infrastructure; Locks and dams; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Research and development

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