The American Society of Civil Engineers, the nation’s oldest national engineering group, has awarded America’s roadways a grade of D-, rated one in four bridges as “structurally deficient or functionally obsolete” and warned that thousands of American dams are on the verge of failure. It warned that unless tax dollars are redirected, the whole thing could crumble.
Altogether, Americans spend 4.2 billion hours a year stuck in traffic because of poorly maintained roads at a cost of $78.2 billion annually in squandered time and fuel.
The average age of America’s 600,000-plus bridges has reached 43 years old, and Congress needs $17 billion a year to make them safe for use.
The nation has 6,000 deficient dams, with 1,800 of them rating a high “hazard potential,” which means that structural failure could kill people.
The society’s complete report card can be found here.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
All those stories that have emerged in recent years about bridges collapsing, roads failing, and dams and levees beginning to crumble are apparently not mere flukes. To the contrary, many of the nation’s bridges, dams, water treatment plants, power generation facilities, roadways, levees, railways, parks, transit systems, and schools are in very serious disrepair—and unless tax dollars are diverted from filling the pockets of fat cats to actually maintaining the means through which we all live, the entire nation will literally crumble into dust.
swanksalot (CC BY-SA 2.0)
A bridge in disrepair in Chicago.