Making Progress: Dam and Levee Upgrades to Improve America’s Infrastructure

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recently released their Infrastructure Report Card and the overall grade for 17 key aspects of our nation’s infrastructure is a C-. ASCE releases this report card every four years, which provides a broad view of the state of our infrastructure and recommendations for its improvement. The hard work of many civil engineers is beginning to pay off as the overall grade from the 2017 report card was a D+. The full report card is below:

  • Aviation: D+
  • Bridges: C
  • Dams: D
  • Drinking Water: C-
  • Energy: C-
  • Hazardous Waste: D+
  • Inland Waterways: D+
  • Levees: D
  • Ports: B-
  • Public Parks: D+
  • Rail: B
  • Roads: D
  • Schools: D+
  • Solid Waste: C+
  • Stormwater: D
  • Transit: D-
  • Wastewater: D+

Schnabel Engineering works in virtually all the key infrastructure areas where the firm is not only busy on many new projects, but also contributing to projects that are maintaining and upgrading our existing infrastructure.

“We’re making progress,” said Del Shannon, a Principal at Schnabel and member of ASCE’s Committee for America’s Infrastructure and lead of the dams and levees sections of the 2021 report card. “We’ve seen some struggles in the past four years with the failure of the Oroville Dam service spillway and near failure of its emergency spillway in 2017, the failure of dozens of levees along the Missouri River in 2019, and the failure of the Edenville and Sanford Dams in Michigan in 2020. But we’re also making progress. Schnabel is working on upgrading dozens of dams throughout the US, which helps these structures continue to provide safe and reliable sources of water for their users.”

There is also optimism that spending on infrastructure will become a priority for the federal government. An infrastructure bill is being drafted in Washington DC by lawmakers and should be rolled out in the coming months. According to ASCE, this bill is much anticipated and needed as the investment required to increase the infrastructure grade from a C- to a B is over $2.5 trillion.

Schnabel is proud to help keep our infrastructure going; infrastructure that all of us rely on every day.

Article Contributor, Del Shannon

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