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. has two levee systems: the District of Columbia – Potomac Park (DCPP) Flood Risk Management System (FRMS) providing risk reduction to the heart of the city’s downtown area and the Anacostia (DCAN) FRMS providing flood protection to the Joint Base Anacostia Bolling facility and the nearby area. Together, the two systems are over 3 miles in length, and are operated and maintained by the National Park Service and the Department of the Navy. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) routinely inspects the levees to evaluate the operations, maintenance, and condition of the structures. Neither levee meets their design requirements: both have an “Unacceptable” safety rating per USACE’s inspection and both have not been accredited by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In 2007, after both levees received an “Unacceptable” rating, $1.2 million in improvements were planned to improve condition, operations, and maintenance of the DCPP FRMS section. However, an additional $5 million would be needed to finish the work on the levees to protect the capital area. The needs for funding and collaboration will continue to change as flood risk reduction requires continual monitoring and maintenance. The ability of these levee systems to prevent flooding within the District of Columbia depends heavily on both their structural integrity, as indicated by their safety rating, and the development of the stormwater infrastructure upstream in surrounding areas.