Atkins' Nedra Davis commended for role in creating ASCE’s new Report Card for Louisiana’s Infrastructure - July 13, 2012
Tampa, FL — Nedra Davis, project manager in Atkins’ Louisiana Water Resources group, recently completed an impressive undertaking for the Louisiana Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) during which she served as communications director and editor for the creation of a comprehensive, statewide “report card” that evaluates the condition of the Pelican State’s infrastructure. Over the course of 18 months, Davis and a team of 50 volunteers developed a highly detailed, peer-reviewed report that evaluated and rated nine categories of Louisiana infrastructure: roads, bridges, ports, levees, dams, aviation, wastewater, drinking water, and solid waste.
In itself a remarkable effort, The Report Card for Louisiana’s Infrastructure has been described as the most unbiased, peer-reviewed assessment of Louisiana’s infrastructure ever produced. The purpose of the Report Card project is to raise public awareness of the state of Louisiana’s infrastructure.
Davis said, “It was a massive undertaking. Our volunteers were primarily licensed professional civil engineers in private practice, government agencies, and academia. They gathered data from a wide range of agencies across the state, disseminated the data, and graded the infrastructure based on factors such as the infrastructure’s overall condition, capacity, funding, operation and maintenance, public safety, and resilience. In addition, we worked hard to ensure that the Report Card is an easy-to-understand document.”
After collecting the data and assigning grades to each criterion, the team weighted each criterion with respect to the others. The committee then corroborated the grades with commentary and references, and compiled the results into a final composite grade.
“According to the Report Card,” Davis noted, “some of our infrastructure is performing at an average or better-than-average level. However, roads and bridges—two vital sectors of our state infrastructure—are the most vulnerable, as demonstrated by their respective grades of D and D+.”
The committee also made recommendations, where applicable, to advise key decision-makers on how to sustain positive grades and improve poor ones.
The Report Card was released to the public during an ASCE press conference held in Baton Rouge earlier this year.
Davis is a project manager with Atkins’ integrated water resources group, and has nearly 15 years of experience working in coastal restoration and protection in Louisiana. She joined Atkins in 2009, and holds two degrees from Louisiana State University: a BA in archeology and an MA in Cultural Anthropology.
As a result of her excellent work on the Report Card, the ASCE invited Davis to attend its 2012 National Legislative Fly-in in Washington, DC earlier this year. The ASCE Legislative Fly-In is an intensive two-day program that gives ASCE members an inside look into the US political process. Participants visited more than 350 Congressional offices to inform and lobby elected officials and their staffs on important issues.
During the Fly-In, Davis reported on the process used to develop the Report Card. She also discussed efforts being made to incorporate the Report Card into the state’s digital assets using an application currently being developed, and to make the information available through social media resources such as Facebook.
During the event, Nedra was commended for her work on the Report Card, and was invited to serve on the ASCE’s State Government Relations (SGR) Committee for ASCE Region 5.
To download a digital copy of The Report Card for Louisiana’s Infrastructure, visit: www.lasce.org/reportcard.aspx.
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Notes to Editors
Atkins (www.atkinsglobal.com) is one of the world's leading engineering and design consultancies*, employing some 17,700 people across the UK, North America, Middle East, Asia Pacific, and Europe. It has the breadth and depth of expertise to plan, design, and enable some of the world's most technically challenging and time critical infrastructure projects.
*It is the largest engineering consultancy in the UK (New Civil Engineer Consultants File 2011) and the 13th largest international design firm (Engineering News-Record 2011).
Recent projects include:
- Critical program management of storm protection works in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and Southern Louisiana, providing expertise in coastal restoration, engineering, environmental and GIS support to rebuild defenses and protect habitats.
- Architectural and construction phase services for the new Tyndall Air Force Base Fitness Center, meeting LEED Platinum standards without impact to project cost.
- Equal partner in a joint venture that is providing full-service program/project management support for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, a $7.8-billion project encompassing ecological restoration, water storage, flood control, and recreation.
- Key transit projects – member of joint venture providing general engineering consultant team for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority and project management oversight contractor for the Federal Transit Administration for major transit projects throughout the US.
- Lead firm on the Ascend, Joint Venture, LLC team, which is designing the $1.2-billion Maynard Holbrook Jackson Jr. International Terminal roadway system at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
- Meeting stringent nutrient removal requirements for wastewater treatment plants in the Chesapeake Bay area through design of upgrades to Howard County, Maryland’s Little Patuxent Water Reclamation Plant and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission’s Seneca Wastewater Treatment Plant, and design and construction of enhanced nutrient removal facilities at Anne Arundel County’s Patuxent Water Reclamation Plant.
- Multi-year architecture-engineering construction management services for the US National Park Service, including projects such as rehabilitation of the Furnace Creek Visitor Center and Administrative Complex at California’s Death Valley to meet the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification standards.
(L-R) Nedra Davis; Louisiana 7th District Congressman Charles Boustany, Jr., MD; and former Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Kam Movassaghi, PhD, PE, F.ASCE (who served as the executive director of the Report Card committee).
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