Conditions of Utah’s infrastructure determined to be mediocre

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SALT LAKE CITY -- In April of 2013, a neighborhood in Murray found itself underwater when the canal above them gave way. That same year, in June, crews in Weber County were tending to a massive break in a levee.

Fast forward to 2015 -- a report released Tuesday on Utah’s infrastructure comes as no surprise, according to those behind it.

“We simply cannot ignore the fact that those infrastructure elements were built for a different purpose, but they’re in a different area than they were intended to be,” said David Eckhoff of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The organization gave Utah a C+ for the conditions in the state, higher than the national grade of D+.

Roads, bridges, transit, dams and solid waste earned B grades. When it came to the state’s drinking water and supply, waste water, storm water and hazardous waste, the ASCE gave Utah C grades. However, the state started to slip below average in the analysis of canals and levees, which earned a D.

“Most of these were built over 100 years ago, some of them over 150 years ago,” Eckhoff said. “We need to take the bull by the horns and adopt a good canal management program.”

According to Eckhoff, the state will need to spend more than $60 billion over the next 20 years to address infrastructure problems.

During a press conference Tuesday, Gov. Gary Herbert acknowledged the issue and pointed to proposals, such as a gas tax as possible funding solutions.

“If we’re going to build them, we need to maintain them,” Herbert said. “There’s no question we are starting to fall behind in what I would call deferred maintenance. That has been shrinking over the years.”

The state should be allocating approximately 1.5-2 percent of their transportation dollars for maintenance funding, according to Herbert.

“If we want to continue to be a progressive and respected urban area, metropolis, we need to think about how we deal more with transit,” Eckhoff said.


Comments are closed.