Levees, Dams, Waterways
There are 12,000 miles of commercially navigable waterways and over 87,000 dams located throughout the U.S. Over 4,000 dams are "unsafe" and have deficiencies that are estimated to cost $21 billion to repair. The average age of dams is more than 51 years old and as dams age, deterioration increases and construction costs rise (Association of State Dam Safety Officials).
More than 566 million tons of freight valued at $152 billion move through the inland waterways system annually (American Society of Civil Engineers 2013). These are critical infrastructure systems that, if not repaired and maintained, will cause catastrophic damages by flooding towns, cities, and farmland in virtually every region of the U.S.
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita showed the world what happens when our levees are not built to handle the appropriate levels of water. Had we invested more just a few years before, we may have prevented the billions in costs following that disaster and saved hundreds of lives.
Mesa, Arizona Mayor John Giles explains why infrastructure investment is important in his community.
- Press Release Former Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell Calls for Port, Waterway Strategy in Speech to American Association of Port Authorities Read More
- Press Release BAF Educational Fund Releases Infrastructure Report: Falling Apart and Falling Behind Read More
- Published Report An Economic Analysis of Infrastructure Investment Read More
About 51% of the generating capacity of the US is in plants that were at least 30 years old at the end of 2010. Most gas-fired capacity is less than 10 years old, while 73% of all coal-fired capacity is 30 years or older.7 Moreover, nationally, 70% of transmission lines and power transformers are 25 years or older, while 60% of circuit breakers are more than 30 years old.