Infrastructure plays a critical role in keeping the Northwest’s economy running smoothly. Damage or failure in any category of infrastructure can disrupt normal operations in single community or result in consequences across the region. Isolated communities are among the most vulnerable to disruptions related to infrastructure.
Infrastructure Assets in the Northwest
- Roads, highways, railways, and shipping ports help move people and goods and support valuable import and export markets.
- Bridges move traffic over water, transportation infrastructure, and other physical barriers.
- Powerlines and substations supply electricity to homes, businesses, schools, and hospitals.
- Dams and reservoirs minimize flood risks, generate electricity, and provide water for irrigation and humans.
- Groundwater wells are an important water source for agriculture and drinking supplies.
- Levees and seawalls are built to prevent damage to homes and property along rivers and the coast.
- Culverts manage water flows to protect roadways from flooding and assist with fish passage, including for migrating salmon.
- Storm water and wastewater systems help minimize flooding, especially in urban areas, and are critical for maintaining water quality.