About one quarter of Nevada's roads are in poor or mediocre condition, and it will cost more than $600 million to maintain the state's drinking water delivery system over the next 20 years, according to a report released Thursday by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
The national report assessed the quality of infrastructure in states and issued report cards on its findings. The report concluded the nation's transportation, water and energy systems have shown little improvement since they were given an overall grade of D-plus in 2001.
In Nevada, the report warned that roads, schools and drinking water infrastructure need serious attention.
It said 24 dams are deemed insufficient by the state, and 16 percent of Nevada's bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
Driving on roads in need of repair costs Nevada motorists $212 million in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs - $160 per motorist, the civil engineers found.
A Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman disagreed with some of the report's findings.
"We feel that our state highways are in good shape," Scott Magruder said. "You'd be hard pressed to find a poor highway in Nevada on the state system. Find a poor road and bring it to our attention."
Vince Alberta, a spokesman with the Las Vegas Valley Water District that serves more than a 1 million customers, also took issue with the report.
"Our infrastructure is very modern," he said. "In southern Nevada we have some of the most technologically advanced water treatment systems in the world, and we meet or exceed all federal water drinking standards. Our challenge is managing the water resources."
Nevada schools didn't fare much better in the report, which stated that 42 percent of them had some sort of physical deficiency. Also, 57 percent of the Nevada's schools have at least one unsatisfactory environmental condition that involves heating, ventilation or air conditioning.
The report card wasn't all bad news. One civil engineer from Las Vegas praised efforts to keep pace with the state's population explosion.
"The state, county and municipalities have done an outstanding job keeping up with growth in the area," the engineer wrote. "However, the rate of growth is such that they are continually trailing demands."
The Nevada report was based on statistics gathered by state and federal agencies, a spokeswoman for the civil engineer's society said.
On the Net:
The report card: http://www.asce.org/reportcard