The Importance of Planning From Transportation to Water Treatment Facilities

Ground penetrating radar pavement

Many experts in the United States have discussed the fact that the country’s infrastructure needs to be seriously addressed. The importance of transportation planning alone cannot be stressed enough, for example. Then there are other significant issues, such as the condition of America’s dams and water treatment facilities.

The Importance of Transportation Planning

Interstate roads were originally designed with a specific capacity in mind. Estimates indicate that more than a third of these roads are in either poor or mediocre condition. Currently, over half of these roads are at 70% traffic capacity, and almost 25% are over 95% capacity. Given the remaining five percent, it may signify that these interstate miles are either not being strained or approaching their maximum traffic capacity.

It is also important to realize that many of the country’s bridges require significant repairs. Just as with the nation’s interstate roads, many bridges were not designed to carry the loads that they are. Recent data shows that this is the case with over 25% of the country’s bridges.

Container ports are also experiencing a challenge. As with roads and bridges, these ports were not designed to handle their current or projected volume. Estimates indicate that by 2020, all major container ports within the United States will be dealing with at least twice as much volume.

The Importance of Repairing Dams

The American Society of Civil Engineers reported that more than 4,095 dams within the country are “unsafe.” Since 1874, a number of dam failures and near dam failures have occurred. Over a third of these have happened within the past decade, which shows the extent to which these facilities have deteriorated.

The Importance of Addressing Sewage Treatment Facilities

The country’s sewer systems are also strained, and these aging systems are unable to handle the amount of untreated sewage that passes through them every year. As a result, it is estimated that 1.26 trillion gallons of sewage is spilled on an annual basis. Data points to the possibility that by 2020, these systems may reach beyond the halfway mark of their lifespan.

The Importance of Drinking Water Treatment

Over the next 20 years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency projects that approximately $344.8 billion will need to be invested in drinking water utilities. Given the decline in safe drinking water due to pollution and other issues that affect groundwater, there needs to be more dedicated effort in addressing this vital need.

The Importance of Addressing the Country’s Overall Infrastructure

The importance of transportation planning and other vital infrastructure planning cannot be stressed enough. Whether new roads, bridges, dams, and/or water treatment facilities need to be redesigned and rebuilt or repaired, each and every one of these areas needs attention. Transportation planning firms, geotechnical engineering consultants, and other types of civil engineers can assess the structural design of the country’s existing infrastructure in order to make recommendations.