2007 Report Card For New Jersey's InfrastructureThe New Jersey Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents over 4,000 civil engineering professionals who live and work in the State of New Jersey and its immediate surroundings. We realize the importance of the State's infrastructure to our citizens and to the nation in whole. The maintenance and improvement of the State's infrastructure is vital to our economy, health, and environment. As a civil service to the residents of our State, the New Jersey Section assembled an Infrastructure Report Card Committee to review available records and assess the condition of the critical components of the State's infrastructure.
It is our intent that this Infrastructure Report Card will raise public awareness of the impact crumbling infrastructure is having on our daily lives, and the many issues and decisions that face our State as we strive to maintain and improve our infrastructure. We believe discussion of the issues detailed in this report will lead to a greater understanding of the current and future needs of our State, prompting decision makers in our communities and in the legislature to formulate policies and provide the necessary funding to address New Jersey's infrastructure needs.
The mission of the committee is - "To prepare an assessment of infrastructure in order to build support for dedicated and consistent sources of funding to provide adequate infrastructure facilities which are in a state of good repair."
Long Term: Provide a report on what is needed to meet the current and future needs of a growing State and to raise awareness of the importance of well-maintained, efficient, safe and secure infrastructure facilities and systems to protect and enhance our quality of life.
Short Term: Educate the public and political leadership so that they will be supportive of developing, enacting and implementing the practices and funding mechanisms needed to realize our short term needs and long term vision.
The Report Card, prepared by the New Jersey Section, was modeled after the Report Card for America's Infrastructure released by ASCE National in 2005 (www.infrastructurereportcard.org).
A committee of 8 volunteer practicing and professional civil engineers from across the State were assembled to collect data, review and evaluate the information obtained and to develop the grades and recommendations.
Our New Jersey Infrastructure Report Card investigated the following infrastructure categories: State transportation systems (including roads, bridges, rail, aviation, ports, and navigable waters), dams, drinking water, wastewater, schools, and public parks and recreation. In an effort to maintain an objective and consistent perspective on the findings and grading, for each category, the committee called upon recognized public and private engineering professionals and appropriate agency leaders to evaluate their findings in order to develop a credible, defendable, and easily explainable conclusion that can be reported as a report card grade. The resulting report card informs the public and policy makers about the critical nature of New Jersey's infrastructure needs. It will serve as an ongoing guide for policy makers where funding needs are quantified and identified by infrastructure category.
The New Jersey Infrastructure Report Card effort followed the ASCE national report card's approach of issued letter grades based on established criteria used to analyze the various infrastructure categories. The national report card grades were based on the following scale:
Letter Grade,Numeric Range,Definition
B, 80-89, Good
F,40% or lower,Failing
The New Jersey Section ASCE grading system considered two factors: 1) State of Repair and 2) Quality of life. In addition, unique performance criteria was developed for each infrastructure category evaluated based on the research performed and data developed. The committee strove to base the grades on a quantitative analysis whenever possible. Since the state of repair was not easily quantified for all categories, ASCE also considered the unmet need, or the percentage of funding provided for requested funding.
In some cases, category grades were adjusted if the expectations for a particular performance criterion did not meet the traditional grading scale, or if the data was incomplete. Due to the many factors that can impact infrastructure's overall performance, some categories were given individual grades in multiple areas of assessment, which were then averaged to create the overall category grade. In addition to numeric data, qualitative information was also used to make modifications to the grades. Also, for several infrastructure categories, hard data was not readily available in all areas, which required more subjective assessments to be made.
All grades were critiqued by the Review Panel for objectivity and consistency before being finalized and accepted by the New Jersey Section ASCE Board for publication.
New Jersey Infrastructure Report Card Conclusions are:
Wastewater = D
Drinking Water = C
Parks and Recreation = C-
Dams = C-
Energy = C+
Aviation = D
Ports and Navigable Waterways = C
Roads = D
Bridges = D
CUMULATIVE NJ GPA = C-
* The analysis of Rails and Schools is continuing.
It is critical that New Jersey develop and maintain a modern infrastructure that can accommodate the state's growth in population. This growth in population threatens our already overburdened public services such as Roads and Bridges, Schools, Energy, Drinking/Waste Water, Aviation, Waterways as well as Parks and Recreation. Further modernization of these systems in New Jersey is fundamental to providing a safe and operational infrastructure while improving the quality of life for the state's residents. Furthermore, planning and allocating funds for the continued forecasted growth in the State is essential as existing facilities and services become obsolete, overburdened or fall into disrepair. Fiscally responsible projects that are designed for the future population growth in the State need to be implemented with dedicated sustainable recourses.
The desired outcome from the development and publication of the New Jersey Infrastructure Report Card is for State legislature and U.S. Congress to allocate funding for State infrastructure at levels that meet the need identified by this Report Card; to support infrastructure funding that promotes economic growth and high levels of quality of life with local governments throughout the State; and to obtain New Jersey voter support for infrastructure funding initiatives and fees. It is the intent of the New Jersey Section to further our analysis and develop additional recommendations to "Raise the Grade" in each infrastructure category and provide guidance to decision makers in our communities and in the State legislature to formulate policies that will maintain and enhance the quality of life for the citizens of the State of New Jersey.