Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) releases a Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. The Report Card not only contains problems and challenges our infrastructure systems are facing (in 17 categories), but also proposes solutions for improving the grades. The grades are in for 2021 – here’s the state of our nation’s infrastructure:
Nestled in western North Dakota in the heart of the Bakken Oil Shale Basin and roughly 15 miles from the captivating North Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park lies the City of Watford City. Watford City is a progressive and dynamic community that has experienced rapid population growth over the past decade, climbing from 1,800 in 2010 to over 7,000 today, primarily due to increased oil activity in the region during the recent Bakken Oil Boom. The City relies heavily on gross production tax (GPT) revenues, sales tax revenues, property tax revenues, along with other general funding sources to fund critical capital and renewal infrastructure projects in their community. With the recent oil and economic activity slowdown in western North Dakota, the City was concerned with how they were going to overcome not having the historically abundant GPT and sales tax revenue streams to support the funding of new and existing infrastructure improvements, operation and maintenance (O&M) activities, and existing and future debt commitments.
Through a competitive selection process, the City selected the Burian & Associates project team (comprised of Burian & Associates, SRF Consulting, ICON Architectural Group, and Raftelis), to develop the Watford City 2040 Infrastructure Master Plan. The Master Plan will help the City plan and strategically implement operational and capital improvements over the next 20 years. Specifically, this project includes the following:
- Thorough assessments of the City’s existing wet infrastructure (water system, wastewater system, and stormwater system) and transportation networks;
- A review of multiple City facilities, including high-level visual inspections and review of O&M processes;
- Establishing plans for future infrastructure investments;
- Development of a robust and integrated financial model to promote financial resiliencies;
- And creation of a capital improvements plan and a resiliency plan to help the City improve their infrastructure systems in a methodical and cost-effective manner.
The project also includes a community engagement town hall meeting to gather public input on how improvements are funded, prioritized, and ultimately implemented. The Master Plan will be developed over the course of 2021, with key deliverables and documents being produced at critical milestones to ensure the City can utilize the information when budgeting for 2022.
Our team is extremely appreciative of the opportunity to work alongside the City, and we are excited to support the City through a collaborative planning process to ensure a sustainable and resilient future is in store for Watford City.