Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick

troubled bridges

The visual survey below shows the percentage of bridges per county that are "structurally deficient" as of 14 years ago. Red is a third or more of the bridges in that county. I wonder how many more are ready to collapse today?

Kinda scary to think that the bridges I cross regularly appear to be in the red, and that the Minneapolis bridge that failed this week was in a county that wasn't red.

Click the image to see the story.

Fixing all of our dangerous bridges would cost a lot of money, though, and that requires taxes. Unless we do something drastic like, say, abandon our adventures abroad for a year. Yes, according to a story I heard today, one year's expenses in Iraq could fix our failing infrastructure. Ponder that for a moment.

But there is no political will for projects like this, or for anything that requires more than four years to complete. Our stupid electoral cycles and the way politicians have to focus all their efforts on re-election prevents us from making long-term investments. Makes me sick. We'd be populating the Solar System by now if we could plan long-term... but just think about infrastructure failing out there, where failure=certain death. Do you think our current system would ensure ongoing maintenance? Doubtful. It's just not as glamorous as a war.

I suggest that we use the NeoCon tactic of fear-mongering to fix our infrastructure. Bridges can kill you! Underground steam pipes can kill you! Gas lines can kill you! Etc. Raise the fear level to red for things and people will gladly pay for it.

Oh, wait; we're not actually paying for the War on Terror™ right now, are we? Our grandchildren are. Back to having to fix the system after all.

Tags: politics

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