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New Report Shows Kern County’s Infrastructure Investment is Stagnant

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Media Contact(s):
Anthony N. Lusich, 661-393-9001, alusich@lusich.com

Jim Jennings, 703-295-6406, jjennings@asce.org

Friday, April 20, 2012

Bakersfield, Calif.—Today the Southern San Joaquin Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released a new report, the 2012 Kern County Infrastructure Report Card. Since the last Kern County Report Card was released in 2008, the County’s overall grade for the core transportation sector remained stagnant at a grade of D+. In addition, the grade for the Sacramento Delta remained at a grade of D.

“This lack of maintenance of existing structures continues to deprive citizens of the benefits of fully adequate transportation infrastructure,” said Anthony N. Lusich, chair of ASCE’s Kern County Infrastructure Report Card Committee. “It’s easy to take infrastructure for granted today, but without maintenance and investment it may not be there tomorrow.”

The grades for Kern County’s highways, roads and transit remain the same, indicating that these infrastructure systems have not been given sufficient prioritization and funding to meet current and future needs. However, the development of the Shafter Intermodal Rail Facility, while not included in the overall core transportation grade, shows that there are positive aspects of the County’s local transportation network.

The 2012 Report Card grades are:

• Highways – D
• Roads – D
• Bridges – B-
• Airports – B
• Freight Rail – C+
• Transit – C-
• Shafter Intermodal Rail Facility – B

The Report Card was produced by a team of local infrastructure experts and uses an academic grading scale to assess the County’s infrastructure. It provides an evaluation and letter grade for 7 categories of Kern County’s infrastructure: highways, roads, bridges, airports, freight rail, transit and the Shafter Intermodal Rail Facility. Sections including California High-Speed Rail, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Land Use, although not graded, are discussed in the report.

The Report Card was compiled by a dedicated team of local civil engineering experts who invested countless volunteer hours from both the public and private sectors. They graded each infrastructure category in the context of perceived future needs. The infrastructure evaluations highlight the condition and key challenges so that public and policy makers can make informed decisions on funding critical asset areas.

To view the 2012 Kern County Infrastructure Report Card, visit www.asce.org/Infrastructure/Report-Card/State-and-Local-Report-Cards. To view the California Infrastructure Report Card 2012, released by the state of California (ASCE Region 9) in February 2012, visit www.ascecareportcard.org. To view the 2009 Report Card on America’s Infrastructure, visit www.infrastructurereportcard.org.

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. The Southern San Joaquin Branch serves more than 200 members in the cities of Bakersfield, California City, Maricopa, Ridgecrest, Taft, Tehachapi and Delano.