Prepared every four years by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the 2013 America’s Infrastructure Report Card assigns letter grades that depict the condition of each of the nation’s major infrastructure systems, including all U.S. seaports. ASCE grades are issued as an indication of the status, performance and functionality of the infrastructure systems.
ASCE’s assessment of the Los Angeles area Harbor District called for the evaluation of eight different components of the Ports’ infrastructure. Included were wharves, railroads, roadways, utilities, channels and berths, container terminals, other marine terminals, and gantry cranes. The overall grade for the Ports, based on equal input of each of the components, was a B. The Ports are committed to making ongoing improvements, with a projected total funding requirement of $3.5 billion over the next five years.
The cumulative 2013 ASCE infrastructure grade for all California seaports was a B-. That’s a commendable achievement. But to maintain and improve on this rating, funding of about $1 billion per year will be needed over the next 10 years, for a total expenditure of $10.7 billion. Certainly this is one of the best investments port authorities and their private sector partners can make to help sustain California’s dynamic business economy and bolster construction job growth.