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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-17-14 10:43 AM
Original message
Speaking of bridges......



Americas crumbling infrastructure desperately needs funding
by Patrick J. Natale @ASCETweets January 17, 2014
Congress should act now to avoid a transportation fiscal cliff in 2015

Last month, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) introduced the Update, Promote and Develop Americas Transportation Essentials (UPDATE) Act. The proposed bill lays out a clear roadmap on how to restore and modernize Americas surface transportation system.

<snip>

Last year, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) issued its 2013 Report Card for Americas Infrastructure. The report assigned grades to 16 categories of infrastructure including roads, bridges, ports, rail, aviation, public parks and recreation and energy. Each was assessed using rigorous grading criteria in eight areas: capacity, condition, funding, future need, operation and maintenance, public safety, resilience and innovation. The nations infrastructure received a cumulative grade of D+. Roads and transit fared only slightly better with grades of D, and bridges received a C+.

Most of Americas interstate highway system was built in the 1950s and 1960s. At the time, it was a pioneering, ambitious project designed to connect people and drive commerce. Today, we are still coasting on our grandparents investments. If the United States is to continue on the path to economic recovery and remain competitive in a global world, it is time for some major renovations to our infrastructure.

The country faces daunting challenges ahead with a combination of backlog on repair projects and a growing need for alternative forms of travel. Currently, more than 40 percent of Americas major urban highways are congested, costing taxpayers time and money. On average, a typical American commuter loses 34 hours sitting in traffic each year nearly an entire week of work. Thats the equivalent of missing 17 of your childs little league games. In addition to time wasted, our ailing roads and bridges directly impact the pocketbooks of American families. About 32 percent of Americas interstates and major highways are in poor or mediocre condition. These substandard roads result in drivers paying $67 billion or $324 per motorist annually in vehicle repair and operating costs. In addition, nearly 45 percent of all Americans still lack access to transit. And young people are increasingly demanding more options than driving a car.

he United States is considered one of the most developed nations in the world, yet our transportation system has long since stopped being the envy of other nations. Most of Americas major economic competitors in Europe and Asia have already invested in and are reaping the benefits of improved competitiveness from their inter-metropolitan high-speed rail systems. Americas roads are ranked 19th in the world, even behind a developing country such as Namibia, according to ASCEs "Failure to Act" surface transportation study. Simply continuing to invest at the same meager levels in the nations existing transportation infrastructure may not be enough to maintain Americas standing in the global economy in the long run


http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/1/infrastruc...

American Exceptionalism
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-18-14 04:53 AM
Response to Original message
1. Yes, but!
We have this huge deficit caused by entitlement spending.

And raising taxes would stifle job creation.

So as soon as we can agree to privatize social security and medicare maybe there will be enough left over revenue to trickle down and create an occasional infrastructure project, one with no-bid, cost plus contracts. I kid. I think. :)
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