When the Nevada ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) released its 2018 Infrastructure Report Card, immediately my heart started to race with anticipation. Regardless of what the report card revealed, there was no question I was feeling a tad anxious by the outcome. Now, I have to admit, I was a little surprised; not because Nevada improved, that was the good news, but that I was really so nervous at the outset.

I honestly didn’t understand if I was more nervous about reading the report card and learning about the new grade or writing a blog for all of you. First and foremost, let me share the good news. The Nevada Section of the ASCE was given an average GPA (grade point average) of a C. That is up from 2014 from a C- grade. In case you are wondering, these grades are based on a scale of A-to-F, just like the ones most of us received in school and are meant to reflect the conduction and overall performance of the state’s infrastructure.

So why is this one state so important? There are 50 states to consider here, right? And this really isn’t that big of an improvement? For many of you that might not be a huge improvement, but for those of you looking at where we have been, and how hard it’s been to move the needle, this is progress. Sure, the state of Nevada would like to see a whole grade or two better, no question.

But as we are all painfully aware, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will be fixing this infrastructure nightmare. It is going to take like-minded people who have the desire to improve our roads, bridges, rail, levees, and transit. But the really great news is that, as an industry, you have raised public awareness. You are getting average consumers to take notice and to care enough to be willing to agree to pay an extra tax or two to fix roads, like Nevada was able to achieve.

Now that is huge. Now that is something to celebrate, and that is what moves a grade, even ever so slightly from a C- to a C. And if we get more states to talk about the problems, we can move that C, to a B, and with a real concerted effort all the way to the top of the class and snag that A.

We all know that Nevada’s infrastructure has been slowly, if not steadily, improving and much of that can be attributed to raising awareness and getting people involved at all levels. Just imagine what 2019 and beyond can bring if more states continue to move the needle? It’s a New Year after all.—Peggy Smedley

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Peggy Smedley
Peggy Smedleyeditorial director