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Tampa Bay's Infrastructure Ranks Above National Average

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Media Contact(s):
Jim Jennings, 703-295-6406, 540-272-1452 (cell) jjennings@asce.org

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tampa Bay's Infrastructure Ranks Above National Average
Local Civil Engineers Grade Tampa Bay a “C” 


Tampa, Florida—Tampa Bay’s infrastructure ranks slightly above the national average, but more work needs to be done, according to Tampa Bay’s civil engineers. The report, titled the 2012 Report Card for Tampa Bay’s Infrastructure, was released by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Florida West Coast Branch on August 22nd at the Tampa Port Authority. In the report, the West Coast Branch graded the Tampa Bay region as a “C” grade overall, urging political leaders for increased investment while highlighting several successful infrastructure investments in the region. To compare, the national ranking was a “D” in the most recent 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure.

 
“We are proud of our Tampa Bay region and happy to show it off to the country. Our local Tampa Bay region is currently highlighting our bridges and other achievements because of the investments we have already made,” said Matthew Crosby, President of the ASCE Florida West Coast Branch. “Our report exists to emphasize how our entire region can move beyond individual projects, and create an overall infrastructure strategy.” 


While ports and coastal areas received the highest grades, the report shows some areas for improvement. Among the findings of the report are that stormwater infrastructure requires a $1 billion dollar investment over the next 25 years, but long-term funding is not keeping pace with forthcoming maintenance and investment needs. The category grades include bridges (B-), schools (D-), aviation (C-), water (C+), roads and transit (C-), stormwater (D), ports and freight (B+), and coastal systems (A-). 


“Over the next week in Tampa, there will be an emphasis on how to get our national economy moving again, and in the Tampa Bay area we know that investing in our infrastructure will be a key part of that solution,” said Elie G. Araj, chair of the Tampa Bay Infrastructure Report Card Committee. “Tampa Bay has created new and lasting jobs through our continued investment in infrastructure, and projects like the I-4/Lee Roy Selmon Connector to the Port of Tampa, for example, strengthen our region’s position as a hub for international commerce.” 


The Report Card was written to inform citizens and political leaders of the infrastructure needs of the Tampa Bay region. The systematic report uses letter grades to condense technical analysis into easy to understand language. A local group of civil engineering experts representing each infrastructure area spent nearly a year analyzing various inspection statistics, budget figures, and technical documents to create the report card. 


“Tampa Bay has seen many infrastructure successes recently but still faces very specific challenges. Inadequate and aging infrastructure puts our region at risk but presents an opportunity to create innovative solutions,” said Kenneth Kerr, a Tampa Bay area bridge engineer. “Without question, investing in our roads, ports, and bridges will continue to benefit Tampa Bay as our community grows.” 


The 2012 Report Card for Tampa Bay’s Infrastructure and its accompanying technical reports can be viewed at www.asce-wcb.org. The Report Card for America’s Infrastructure will be updated in early 2013, and the current version can be found at 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 ASCE Florida West Coast Branch was formed in 1951 and has 1130 members across the Tampa Bay area in Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, and Hillsborough counties. The West Coast Branch also supports a student chapter at the University of South Florida.