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New Mexico’s Infrastructure Earns a C Grade

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Media Contact(s):
Clark Barrineau, 202-789-7853, cbarrineau@asce.org

Friday, September 21, 2012

State Civil Engineers Give New Mexico’s Infrastructure Mediocre Marks 

Santa Fe, New Mexico—New Mexico’s infrastructure has not improved despite the state’s growth, reports a group of New Mexican civil engineers. In their newest report, the 2012 Report Card for New Mexico’s Infrastructure (Report Card), the New Mexico Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) graded the state’s infrastructure a C overall, with aviation, rail, road, and solid waste infrastructure worsening since their last report in 2005. 

“A ‘C’ grade means that we are falling behind the needs of our growing state,” said New Mexico Report Card Chair Sonya L. Cooper, P.E. and associate dean of the College of Engineering at New Mexico State University.  “For example, 77 percent of our flood control dams are considered deficient or not in satisfactory condition. How can we hope to prosper if we cannot keep pace with New Mexico’s obvious needs”?

The report card was released by ASCE on September 21, 2012 in Santa Fe. The study was a 14 month long undertaking, including the expert analysis of nearly 50 civil engineers. 

ASCE graded 10 categories of infrastructure: aviation (D+), rail (C), roads (C), solid waste (C), flood control (D+), bridges (C-), drinking water (C-), waste water (C), transit (C+), and schools (B-).

“How we get to work, how we raise our families, and how we can build a more sustainable future all depend on infrastructure,” said ASCE President Andrew W. Herrmann, P.E., SECB. “Given that only one of the 10 areas grades above a ‘C,’ we hope this report card will serve as a wakeup call that we must do more. Maintaining and modernizing our infrastructure – our roads, bridges, and water systems –should be a top priority to meet the needs of New Mexican families now and in the future.”

The Report Card was created in an effort to inform the public and elected officials about the state of New Mexico’s infrastructure. The report summarizes technical data and uses everyday language to breakdown the state’s infrastructure conditions and future needs. The New Mexico Section of ASCE also offers numerous solutions along with analysis in order to allow legislators and citizens to create change. 

“We must develop new funding mechanisms, educate everyone on the economic impact of further infrastructure investment, and continuously assess our needs as a state if we hope to stop receiving such a poor grade every year,” said Gerald Parker, New Mexico Section President. “Our solutions are straightforward, but they require dedication and a renewed effort in helping rebuild New Mexico.”

State level report cards are modeled after the national 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, which gave America’s infrastructure a grade of D. The next version of the Report Card for America’s Infrastructure will be released in early 2013 at www.infrastructurereportcard.org. 

The New Mexico Report Card and its accompanying technical reports can be viewed here.

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About ASCE: Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 140,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. For more information, visit www.asce.org.