AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CIVIL ENGINEERS
Idaho’s infrastructure has an ever increasing need for improvement. This is the main conclusion of the 2012 Report Card for Idaho’s Infrastructure, developed by the Southern Idaho Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Though many of the infrastructure categories showed areas of satisfactory performance, the vast majority indicated that Idaho’s infrastructure lacks funding, is not properly maintained, and is poorly equipped to deal with its increasing demands as Idaho continues to grow.
Infrastructure is a part of our daily lives. Too often we take it for granted, even though in a typical day, most of us use or are impacted by each of the 11 infrastructure categories we assessed. Before you even leave the house, you will turn on a light, which works because of energy infrastructure; take a shower using water and wastewater infrastructure; eat a piece of toast, made with wheat grown using dam infrastructure and transported on roads and across bridges or possibly rail infrastructure; perhaps you’ll open a bill, mailed to your house using aviation infrastructure. After breakfast you might watch your kids leave for school, and then take public transit to work. We expect infrastructure to work efficiently and when it doesn’t, we may no longer take it for granted.
ASCE’s mission is to provide essential value to our members and partners, advance civil engineering, and serve the public good. In carrying out that mission, ASCE advocates infrastructure and environmental stewardship and has developed a national Report Card for American’s Infrastructure since 1995. The most current National Report Card, published in 2009, indicated an overall grade of “D.” The Southern Idaho Section of ASCE serves more than 500 members, and we are joining over 30 other states and regions that have developed Report Cards to complement the National Report Card.
As civil engineers in the state of Idaho, we have a responsibility to safeguard the life, health, property, and welfare of the public. We believe it is part of this responsibility to provide the public, including our elected leaders, with critical information about the current state of our infrastructure, which is the main goal of this Report Card. Our hope is that with this knowledge, the public will increase support for infrastructure improvement and maintenance and urge elected leaders to take action to prioritize funding so that our vital infrastructure meets the current and future needs of Idaho citizens.
Volunteers from public agencies, private firms, and non-profit groups have contributed to this effort. Of these, more than 25 civil engineering experts have compiled issue briefs for 11 different infrastructure categories over the last 18 months. Peer reviews were then performed, often by a subject matter expert that had no prior involvement with the Report Card. The collaboration of public, private, and non-profit volunteers, along with the peer review process, resulted in this comprehensive assessment of Idaho’s infrastructure.
About the American Society of Civil Engineers
“Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 147,000 members of the civil engineering profession worldwide, and is America’s oldest national engineering society. ASCE’s vision is to position engineers as global leaders building a better quality of life…Comprised of Regional Councils, Younger Member Councils, Sections, Branches, Student Chapters and Clubs and International Student Groups, the Society and its volunteers are fully engaged in making this a better world by design.”