Louisiana ASCE Infrastructure Report Card
BATON ROUGE, LA In 2012, Louisiana Section of American Society of Civil Engineers' (ASCE) very first Report Card for Louisiana's Infrastructure started with the following statement:
Louisiana's infrastructure needs immediate attention.
More than five years later, this overarching conclusion remains more valid than ever.
Again, an expert team of more than 50 civil engineers were assembled to evaluate and study 11 major components of Louisiana's infrastructure for more than 18 months. Their results have been reviewed not only by independent experts locally, but they also have been scrutinized by ASCE's team of national experts.
The conclusion is not a surprise but more an alarm that over the course of the last five years, the system has detreated further. Our infrastructure is poorly maintained, inadequately funded, and not designed to meet tomorrow's demands. Consequently, the state is at a disadvantage and will continue to lose its economic competitiveness.
As civil engineers, we understand the intricate details of infrastructure. We plan, design, build, maintain and operate roads and bridges, dams and levees, and we provide the public with safe and clean drinking water. With that responsibility, we also carry an obligation to tell the public the truth. The truth is that our infrastructure is in poor shape and needs immediate attention.
We present this report card as a fulfillment of our public duty as designers and builders of public facilities. Our infrastructure is of vital importance to all; it sustains our quality of life, keeps us safe and healthy, allows us to be mobile, and provides the framework for our global economy to function. We depend daily on our infrastructure, yet we take its condition for granted until a failure produces tragic results, such as a levee failure or a bridge collapse. We produced this report card to inform the public and our elected officials about the status of the state's infrastructure. We are not proud of our grades.
The national ASCE first reported on the state of the nation's infrastructure in 1995. Its 2017 edition was published in March and gave the nation's infrastructure an average grade of "D." A great deal of time and resources were dedicated to produce Louisiana's latest report card. Our statewide average grade is "D+."
Our hope is that the public will demand action from our political leaders who ultimately have the control over how much and where the revenues are to be invested. We hope for a positive response from our elected leaders by taking action to prioritize and provide necessary funding and demand accountability from responsible public officials in delivering results that will improve our infrastructure and secure a better future for Louisiana's citizens.