Oklahoma's infrastructure concerns extend far beyond Capitol

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: April 1, 2013
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They'd like to see more emphasis on connecting metro and suburban areas with transit to help ease congestion. They said new financing methods will be needed to deal with the ongoing demise of existing water and wastewater utility systems. (No surprise there: Two years ago, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board estimated it would take $87 billion over the next 50 years to pay for improvements to water-related infrastructure.)

The engineers said any number of organizations routinely collect data about infrastructure, but it's usually targeted for the specific uses of those groups. One thing that sets this report apart, they said, is that it looks at several infrastructure areas and is presented in a format that's easy to understand.

“Where infrastructure is marginally performing, poorly maintained or failing, immediate action should be taken by the public and our elected leaders to reverse the trend and to improve the grade,” the engineers said.

The report, available at www.asce.org, is indeed easy to understand. Not so easy will be getting lawmakers, who so far haven't been able to agree on how to fix the Capitol, to craft ways to pay for these considerably more expensive needs.

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