Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers releases a National Infrastructure Report. Within that report is an overview of each individual state’s strengths and weaknesses. Utah ultimately received a C+ average, and that emphasizes that there are areas to improve on. Here’s a closer look at what the 2015 Utah Infrastructure Report found:
Utah’s report was unique in that it utilized a team of senior students from the University of Utah. As part of the capstone course, professional practice and design, the students were tasked with preparing a preliminary infrastructure report and finding relevant information and statistics that might have been overlooked in the past. After presenting their findings as part of a final project, the infrastructure report was then modified and presented before the Utah legislature’s Infrastructure and General Government subcommittee. This presentation gave lawmakers a good idea of how much money Utah needs to spend over the next 30 to 40 years in order to maintain and repair existing infrastructure, as well as to build new highways, canals and buildings.
Surprising fact: Utah’s population is expected to double in the next 40 years, and Salt Lake County will be right in the thick of it.
According to David W. Eckhoff, PhD, PE, Project Director of the Utah Infrastructure report card, there are three main areas that are critical for our state’s future: dealing with tremendous population growth, adequately planning and implementing sustainable infrastructure systems and maintaining future water supply.
Action is already being taken to keep Utah ahead of the curve. The infrastructure report recommends that the legislature fund a master planning study to prepare for what lies ahead. This kind of in-depth research plan will pull all of the state’s resources together and encourage coordination and cooperation within various departments and sectors. The idea? To formulate a holistic infrastructure plan for Utah’s future.