D+

Arkansas 2014 Report

2014 Arkansas Infrastructure Report Card

2014 Report Card GPA: D+

The Arkansas Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released the 2014 Report Card for Arkansas’ Infrastructure on October 16th during the ASCE Arkansas Annual Conference in Little Rock. The AR infrastructure report includes an evaluation of Arkansas’ roads, bridges, transit, drinking water, wastewater, levees, and dams.
2014 akansas infrastructure report card

Arkansas Infrastructure Grades

Bridges
Bridges
C+

Arkansas has 12,523 bridges. While progress has been made in improving the condition of Arkansas bridges, 32% of all Arkansas bridges have been in service for at least 50 years. In Arkansas, the average age of bridges in service is 38 years, while 21% of bridges are deficient by bridge deck surface area. The estimated cost to repair or replace all 2,658 structurally deficient bridges in Arkansas is $1.14 billion. To put this need in perspective, in 2012, Arkansas spent approximately $7.2 million on bridge maintenance.

Dams
Dams
D

Dams in Arkansas are designed and built primarily to provide flood risk management, water supply, recreation, hydropower, and transportation. Arkansas has 1,193 state regulated dams across the state, and approximately 1 in every 5 of these dams have either high-hazard or significant hazard potential. The number of high hazard dams is 144 or 12% of regulated dams, and the number of significant hazard dams is 92 or 8% of regulated dams. While on an upward trend previously, the 2013 State Dam Safety budget has declined. When the budget is compared in context of the number high hazard potential dams, Arkansas does not meet the national average.

Drinking Water
Drinking Water
D+

Arkansas’ public water supply accounts for approximately 404 million gallons per day to serve 2.6 million people. For the next 20 years, an estimated $6.1 billion dollars of funding will be necessary to keep up with the State’s growing drinking water needs. Arkansas’ water transmission and distribution system, which consists mostly of buried pipes, represents 72% of the capital needs of drinking water facilities in the State. Of the 2,615 miles of water transmission and distribution lines that will require replacement or rehabilitation within the next 20 years, 14% of these projects need attention now. A state-wide 2014 Arkansas Water Plan is currently under development by the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission to evaluate the state’s water needs until 2050.

Levees
Levees
D

Levee systems are built to prevent flooding by piling earth along rivers. In Arkansas, there are 106 levee systems, and of them, 90 are federal levees and 16 are non-federal levees. Less than 70% of the systems have adequate flood protection or added safety height to the levee design. Currently more than 50% of systems in Arkansas are ‘inactive’ in the USACE Rehabilitation and Inspection Program due to poor inspection ratings. Of the 13 major levees in Arkansas longer than 25 miles in length, inspection ratings show that no levee system was rated as acceptable; 4 out of the 13 systems are rated as minimally acceptable, and nine out of the 13 are rated as unacceptable.

Roads
Roads
D+

Arkansas has the 12th largest state highway system in the nation with 16,398 miles. While Arkansas has taken steps to improve road conditions, due to the lack of available funding the State has begun putting needed projects on hold as the federal Highway Trust Fund’s long-term solvency is uncertain and no state revenue sources are identified to backfill the investment needed.

Transit
Transit
D+

Residents in 60 of the 75 counties in Arkansas have access to some type of public transportation service, and ridership estimates imply that nearly half a million people are in need of public transportation at some time. Two urbanized areas in the State have established transit service on a fixed route—Little Rock and Fayetteville. Due to the location of the ridership, only 36% of the estimated potential 13 million transit trips in the State are being met. This need is projected to grow to 9.6 million trips and 560,000 people by 2020.

Wastewater
Wastewater
C+

Wastewater infrastructure is important to all modern societies to keep the water unpolluted and able to naturally replenish. EPA’s Clean Watersheds Needs Survey from 2008 and 2012 shows that the investment needs for wastewater facilities for the next 20 years in Arkansas have jumped from $470 million to $763 million. The 2012 Survey found that 214 wastewater treatment facilities in Arkansas needed facility upgrades and improvements over the next 20 years, and water treatment systems needed doubled the improvements compared to 2008. There was also a ten-fold increase for secondary treatment facilities from $15M to $126M. Although most of the facilities are currently reasonably maintained and normally operated below design capacities, the future needs of Arkansas’ wastewater systems will need a significant amount of capital investment.

A: EXCEPTIONAL, B: GOOD, C: MEDIOCRE, D: POOR, F: FAILING
Each category was evaluated on the basis of capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation and maintenance, public safety, resilience, and innovation

Key Facts about Arkansas's Infrastructure

Aviation

78 public-use airports

Bridges

811 (6.30%) of the 12,871 bridges are structurally deficient

Bridge Funding

$96,180,878 spent on state bridge capital projects in 2013

Dams with EAPS

89% of the state regulated dams have an Emergency Action Plan

Dams

114 high hazard dams

Drinking Water

$7.4 billion in drinking water infrastructure needs over the next 20 years

Energy

109.8 Trillion BTU of renewable energy every year, ranking it 32nd

Hazardous Waste

9 sites on the National Priorities List

Inland Waterways

1,860 miles of inland waterways, ranking it 3rd

Levees

1,458 miles of levees

Ports

18.2 million short tons of cargo in 2012, ranking it 30th nationally

Public Parks

$231.72 million of unmet needs for its parks system

Rail

2,698 miles of freight railroads across the state, ranking 25th nationally

Roads

102,609 miles of Public Roads, with 24% in poor condition

Road Costs

$589 per motorist per year in costs from driving on roads in need of repair

Schools

$587 million gap in in estimated school capital expenditures

Transit

6,694,851 annual unlinked passenger trips via transit systems including bus, transit, and commuter trains

Wastewater

$715 million in wastewater infrastructure needs over the next 20 years

Key Solutions

Our nation’s infrastructure problems are solvable if we have leadership and commit to making good ideas a reality. Raising the grades on our infrastructure will require that we seek and adopt a wide range of solutions.
Investment

We can no longer afford to defer investment in our nation’s critical infrastructure systems.

Leadership & Planning

Smart investment will only be possible with leadership, planning, and a clear vision for our nation’s infrastructure.

Preparing for the Future

We have to utilize new approaches, materials, and technologies to ensure our infrastructure is more resilient.

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