Nevada’s Infrastructure Grades Improve

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Today, Nevada civil engineers released the  Nevada 2018 Infrastructure Report Card Las Vegas City Hall. Twelve categories of infrastructure earned an overall grade of a “C,” advancing from a “C-” in 2014. Among the category grade boosts was aviation, which went from a “C-” to a “C,” bridges, moving up from a “C-” to a “B-,” and roads, which improved from “C-” to a C.  Transit’s grade progressed from a “C-” to a “C” and school infrastructure earned a “C-” in 2018, which is a slight increase from a “D+” four years ago.

The infrastructure categories that saw grade increases benefited from investment, strong leadership, and planning. Both Washoe and Clark County voters indexed their fuel taxes to inflation, increasing the amount of revenue that supports bridges and roads. Today, Nevada’s bridge network is among the best in the country – only 1.5% of bridges are structurally deficient.  Both international airports – Reno-Tahoe and Las Vegas – are experiencing major rehabilitation projects. The two largest school districts – Clark County with 320,523 students and 369 campuses and Washoe County with 63,919 students and 104 campuses—are constructing new schools and upgrading existing facilities.

Despite the improving condition of much of Nevada’s network, the state has some challenges. Bridges and roads are aging, and the state faces a $450 million backlog of road and bridge repairs, mostly due to needed repairs in rural areas. Dams received the lowest grade of a “D+,” which is the same grade from 2014’s Report Card. Funding for dams’ operation and maintenance costs has remained stagnant, which is consistent with much of the country. Due to challenges in in rural parts of the state, the solid waste grade decreased from  a “B-” in 2014 to a “C” in 2018.Drinking water and wastewater grades remained the same as 2014.

The Nevada 2018 Report Card makes several recommendations to raise the grades. First, funding the State Infrastructure Bank, which provides loans and grants to help local jurisdictions in need of financial support to qualify for federal funds, is critical. Second,, civil engineers in the state urge decision-makers to increase operations and maintenance funding as Nevada builds out and adds to its infrastructure budgets. Third, there is a directive to index the state gas tax to inflation in the rural counties that declined to act in previous years. The final recommendation is to continue to support emerging technologies, as Nevada is already fostering an attractive culture for forward-thinking companies.

The report determined the following infrastructure category grades: aviation (C), bridges (B-), dams (D+), drinking water (C-), energy (B-), public parks (B-), roads (C), schools (C-), solid waste (C), stormwater (C), transit (C) and wastewater (B-).  The full Report Card is available to download at www.infrastructurereportcard.org/Nevada.

 

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