Orange County Branch Newsletter

October 2016

Branch News

OC Infrastructure Report Card Luncheon

By Melissa Brady, PE; Jazzy Quinabo

The State of Orange County’s Infrastructure 2016 Report Card

ASCE Orange County hosted its September luncheon at the Center Club in Costa Mesa with a presentation of the 2016 Orange County Infrastructure Report Card. Yaz Emrani, M.S., P.E., Vice President of Carollo Engineers, Inc., and Co-chair of the OC Infrastructure Report Card Executive Committee, discussed the results of the Report Card and the ‘C+’ average grade awarded based on the 12 categories: Aviation (A-); Electric Power (C-); Flood Control and Levees (C-); Ground Transportation (C); Natural Gas (B-); Oil (B-); Parks, Recreation, and Environment (C+); School Facilities (C); Solid Waste (B); Surface Water Quality (D+); Wastewater (B); and Water Supply (B).

The 2016 OC Infrastructure Report Card is the fourth comprehensive assessment of Orange County’s infrastructure status, following the 2002, 2005, and 2010 editions. It was created through a joint effort between ASCE OC Branch and the UC Irvine Civil & Environmental Engineering Affiliates, an advisory board of UC Irvine’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering. The joint effort consisted of over 100 engineers, public agency managers, business leaders, and environmentalists. According to the OC Infrastructure Report Card Executive Committee, “the goal of the OC Infrastructure Report Card is to educate our public on the importance of infrastructure maintenance, encourage our colleagues in the public sector to continue the fight for infrastructure funding and maintenance, and to actively communicate to our elected officials the important role that infrastructure maintenance plays in our everyday lives.“

An impartial analysis and independent review of OC’s infrastructure was openly conducted by 12 standing chapter committees, 12 review committees, and an Executive Committee. In addition to being utilized for its simple, familiar, and easy to understand format, the approach of using a Report Card was utilized to spot overall trends throughout time. The evaluation criteria included: General condition of the infrastructure; Capacity vs. Demand; Operation and functionality; Sustainability (Resources & Funding); Security; and Estimated Cost. Based on these criteria, the following results were unveiled in the 2016 Infrastructure Report Card. Yaz Emrani noted that overall GPA stalled for more than a decade due to some areas improving and others declining.  The historical reluctance to fund infrastructure renewal has resulted in lower grades and severe consequences such as high-cost emergencies, significant damage repairs, system failures, liability claims, and customer outrage from service outages.

OC Infrastructure Report Card Grades for 2002, 2005, 2010, and 2016

A grade isn’t enough to tell the story. For more detailed coverage on the individual 12 categories, please see attached presentation and click on the following image to view the Citizen’s Guide full report.  

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