Released by ASCE-NCS.ORG on January 14, 2016

The National Capital Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released the 2016 Report Card for D.C.’s Infrastructure on Thursday, January 14, 2016.

The report includes an evaluation of the District’s bridges, drinking water, energy, levees, parks, rail, roads, schools, solid waste, transit and wastewater.

D.C.'s Infrastructure received a "mediocre" grade. It is of only moderate quality; not very good. Because infrastructure has a direct impact on our lives every day—from the quality of water delivered through taps in our homes, to the condition of school buildings our children attend and to the condition and capacity of the roads and rails we travel on, those living or working in, and those governing D.C.'s infrastructure funding policies must invest adequately to safeguard its role that is vital to our economy, security, recreation, and safety.

D.C. draws its energy from sources outside its boundaries and moves it using a variety of methods – from wires to substations for electricity and through pipes for gas. The energy system includes 2,230 miles of primary cable, and the natural gas network consists of 2,360 miles of pipeline. While 2 of 3 electricity generation plants were taken out of service, D.C.’s distributed generation capacity has grown, including use of solar photovoltaic systems. The primary concern for reliability in D.C. has been with overhead feeders which are susceptible to weather events. DC PLUG, a 10-year initiative, has begun to relocate overhead feeders underground, but this step alone may not fully address reliability concerns. The challenge with gas pipelines is an aging system and the potential for leaks. However, efforts are underway to make significant improvements in both natural gas and electric systems by 2018, as $3 billion is planned for electricity infrastructure upgrades and $650 million has been allocated to replace 50-year old pipelines.