Infrastructure Spending Needed: NJ bridge collapses 2nd time in 4 years, carcinogen leaks into creek
Nov 30, 2012 at 2:50 pm
Infrastructure Spending Needed: Century-Old New Jersey Bridge Collapses For Second Time In Four Years
A bridge in Paulsboro, New Jersey collapsed Friday morning, derailing a train carrying highly flammable and carcinogenic vinyl chloride into Mantua Creek. The most recent reports say at least 28 people are having trouble breathing from the spill’s vapors and residents are being evacuated. Local schools are in lockdown.
This is the second time in four years that this bridge has collapsed. In 2009, the bridge buckled and plunged several coal cars into the creek. The bridge has certainly weathered a lot of wear and tear since it was built in 1873. Residents were not surprised last time it collapsed:
Even if the Mantua Creek bridge is successfully repaired after this latest disaster, there are thousands of similar “time bomb” bridges around the country ready to collapse at any moment. The average American bridge is now 43 years old — and a 2008 Department of Transportation survey determined that 72,868 are “structurally deficient,” while 89,024 are “functionally obsolete.”
Despite the urgency of this crisis, US spending on infrastructure is projected to fall short by $139 billion or more over the next decade. Meanwhile, Republicans have pushed for a devastating cut of $871 billion in infrastructure investment.