Skip to comments.21 Facts About America's Decaying Infrastructure That Will Blow Your Mind
Posted on 09/21/2012 11:53:24 PM PDT by LucyT
You can tell a lot about a nation by the condition of the infrastructure. So what does our infrastructure say about us? It says that we are in a very advanced state of decay. At this point, much of America is being held together with spit, duct tape and prayers.
Our roads are crumbling and thousands of our bridges look like they could collapse at any moment. Our power grid is ancient and over a trillion gallons of untreated sewage is leaking from our aging sewer systems each year. Our airports and our seaports are clogged with far more traffic than they were ever designed to carry.
Approximately a third of all of the dam failures that have taken place in the United States since 1874 have happened during the past decade. Our national parks and recreation areas have been terribly neglected and our railroads are a bad joke. "...drinking water systems all over the country are badly outdated.
While the Obama administration is spending more than half a million dollars to figure out why chimpanzees throw poop, our national infrastructure is literally falling apart all around us.
(Excerpt) Read more at theeconomiccollapseblog.com ...
. . . . List of facts 21 shown at the link.
“. . . . List of facts 21 shown at the link.”
Wait...aren’t these “shovel ready jobs” that need to be done?
What we as a nation need to do is send a zillion dollars to Democrat labor unions to fix everything.
Unions, unions, unions..
All of the highways in and around Detroit look like they’ve been used by the air force for target practice. The worst is between Detroit and Toledo.
That’s because LIBERALS have been ruling forever. The money was obviously spent on other things.
We don’t do sewers any more, we do pensions.
With a constant flow of new citizens and voters, there is no continuity to public consciousness and discourse, to make politicians pay for the gradual decay and lower standards.
I thought it was the gangs or the fact that your state allows some very heavy trucks to travel your roadways.
Our airports are jammed -— with flights that are priced out assuming that half of the cabin will be empty seats.
Our bridges are crumbling, yes, while bridge authorities are being crushed with public pensions that no one can afford and repair plans are held up in endless environmental impact studies and traffic studies.
The dams bursting from having to bear capacity levels they were never designed for due to the tearing down of so many dams and ill-thought bypass schemes to preserve particular fish stocks.
America isn't crumbling, it is being crushed by greedy public employees and those who view an ideal world where you wake up in the morning to work all day in the field to gather the vegetarian home grown from the family gardens, with breaks to attend public reeducation and a hefty tithe to those more equal who tend the public square.
What they don't understand is that America is built out of granite that has been soaked with the blood of their ancestors - through wars and tribulations. Their crushing burden is trying hard to break that foundation, but it won't work. They try every day to extend it, just a little further, but they are hitting the point where their pressure is yielding little more.
The age of the liberal is coming to a close, and you can hear the panic in their voices as they realize it, hoping to grab on to just a bit more before the inevitable tide turns against them.
You mean all the heads that need to be whacked with a shovel?
Over the past ten years Egypt has received 15 to 20 BILLION dollars from the U.S.
That would have paid for a few roads and sewers here.
When I was an ironworker in NYC, my partner for three years was a black guy named Richard who liked to be called Rikki. We became very good friends, I would say like brothers. I was the Best Man at his wedding.
Eventually we got split-up, he went to do repair work on the Queensboro Bridge and I got sent to repair the Whitestone Bridge. On the Whitestone Bridge we hung two cables parallel underneath the bridge and tied down a section of scaffold between them. Then we stood on that and used air powered “hell dogs” (which are like small version jackhammers you hold like a shotgun) to bang out the old rusty rivets and replace them with new bolts.
On Rikki’s job, they had a wide platform that was moved into position underneath the bridge by a crane operator. I used to joke to Rikki about “how good you Queens have it over at Queensboro Bridge with your fancy expensive platform and crane operator, while we are hanging a section of scaffold under the Whitestone Bridge.”
But on day the setting of the platform on the Queensboro Bridge went wrong and the platform quickly folded which caused the instant death of one ironworker, who was the new partner of Rikki.
The dead ironworker slipped out of his safety harness but Rikki was able to grab him so he wouldn’t fall from the bridge. It took a few hours for the rescue, while Rikki kept hold of the dead ironworker. Afterwards Rikki was hailed as a Hero in the national press for his actions.
I saw this same panic crap written in the 1970’s, and 80’s and 90’s, etc.
Things age, esp. thru use. More people, more use. No shit Sherlock.
I have seen some improvements in major roads in New England where signs used to say “Use at own risk” (Thank you Democrats for posting these in your ruined states).
Pisspoor transportation planning is responsible for a lot of our mess. In 1975 I had to do a paper for my Criminal Justice course on “solving traffic problems in No. Virginia”.
After travelling around the area, the answer was readily apparent, “More money, unified regional planning (which did not exist, but does now)”.
I can only recall one major bridge collapse in the recent past, that in Minnesota, which was due to a design flaw.
Aged and over-used sewage facilities are the fault of the city/towns, etc. that use them. I know because I worked on one such case for the govt. Again, Democrats control most of these cities and counties, like mine, which spend more money on “Parks, recreation centers and buying non-existent land” than on the water/sewage problems.
Illegal immigrants have drained our local govt treasuries to the point that legal citizens cannot get social services or roads fixed, and we are taxed to death, again, mainly by dominate Democrat-dominated city councils, etc. But we get damned green traffic isles which endanger us when we try to come out from our streets into traffic. My daughter just blew two tires turning into our street because the idiots who made the isles failed to get it properly lighted so that you could see it at night.
For all the PhDs we have in America, you would think that a few would have the common sense and skills to solve many of our problems, but, no, we get failing wind power, political payoffs to the totally failed “green/wind/solar power” industries (all major projects funded by the Obama regime have failed to the tune of over tens of Billions of DOLLARS, including Solydra, etc).
The “ROT” is actually in DC, in the White House, with its marxist czars, environmental wackos, and a do-nothing Senate. Don’t even mention the marxist-led EPA. Almost useless because of horrible leadership that was trained under avowed marxist leader Carol Browner (now led by her protege’ Lisa Jackson).
Chu, at the Dept. of Energy is useless and clueless.
Dept. of Agriculture is going to starve America by limiting certain types of farming.
Dept. of Transportation is going to cripple the long-hold truckers who use diesel fuel by imposing impossible mileage and fumes regulations. The same for trains who use diesel fuel. Coming to ships, also.
These idiots are also going to limit transportation forms by imposing unrealistic restrictions on “greenhouse gases”, i.e. the Carbon Dioxide you exhale every day.
Welcome to the Democrat’s version of HELL.
If we don’t wake up on Nov. 6th, crumbling infrastructure will be the least of our problems.
Illegals don’t need roads to overrun our country.
Drug traffickers don’t need roads to deliver their drugs, nor do they need arms thanks to Att. Gen. Eric Holder and his band of total incompetents.
I could go on for years but we don’t have years, or even more than a couple months before America decides which way we go. “Save the Snail Darter Fish or save American jobs”.
There is a CHOICE and we had better make the right one, or all of this discussion is academic.
That right there is tagline material.
Actually, socialists, right or left, fully plan to reduce the population of the earth to about 500 million....probably 99% workers and 1% elite.....it takes very few people to control the rest when there are no weapons in the hands of the workers and the 99% are held to an agrarian life.
Here in NJ the secondary roads and small streets are falling apart; “stop” signs are overgrown with foliage (!) since public works employees have been laid off (to maximize the number of public school teachers on the dole), and there is no money left to fix anything.
Governor Christie’s property tax cap has ensured that this won’t improve any time soon, but I’d still prefer to live in a state that is run-down than to lose my house because my property tax bill increases $1K annually.
Whitestone Bridge - in the 1940’s and ‘50’s, travelled across that bridge many times with parents as a kid to get from Long Island to my grandparents in Manhattan - on Dykeman St. (200th St) at the time.
My Norwegian father-in-law (never knew him) worked on the Empire State and other buildings, along with NY Indians. They were 2 of the ethnics who easily worked at heights.
He had no accidents.
So, thank you, Ironworker!
Longevity of bridges is a mystery to me - I get to thinking about that occasionally. Thinking of all the daily traffic and their weight - how much can a bridge take?!
And to double-deck the George Washington Bridge - astounds me.
Well, living in Southern CA for 43 years.
And only occasionally now do I find myself on those 3 or 4 criss-crossing stacked freeway exchanges - and thinking EARTHQUAKES!
Ryan stated that only 6 percent of the stimulous money for “infrastructure and shovel ready” were allocated, WHERE IS THE REST OF THE 96 PERCENT?
Just another way to steal money from the tax payers.Government takes your money than builds the infrastructure and then fails to maintain it.
It happens at all levels of government.Afterall they can always get more money right.
Wow. Amazing story. You Ironworkers have no fear. Anyone who thinks they have a tough job should watch what you guys do for a few hours. I’d never survive the climb, I’d be petrified.
While the Obama administration is spending more than half a million dollars to figure out why chimpanzees throw poop,...And 700 million to rebuilt Mosques that had poop backed up in them.
Wouldn't that be the Democrat's version of HEAVEN?? And any sane person's version of HELL??
If you calculate the gallons per hour, you get 0.007 gallons per hour. I've seen estimates that say an idling car uses about a gallon per hour. So, are these cars in traffic jams all turned off 99% of the time?
Am I missing something here or are their numbers seriously wrong?
Well, I can tell you Northfield, MA got new sidewalks for an estimated $1.7 million. Every time I drive through Northfield, I have yet to see anyone walking on the sidewalks.
Let's not forget Hussein's signage...didn't each cost about $1,200? [Small chunks of change compared to the billions
"Shovel Ready was not as 'shovel ready' as we expected"
Some of that is being used to improve the unions' political infrastructure.
In a lot of places it seems the only time a bridge is painted is when it is built. Then 50 years later, it falls down. Each politician puts it off for the next guy to do.
SueRae, I am retired from ironworking. I remember dealing with the fear early on by looking at the men around me and thinking "if that butthead can do it then so can I". Then you are concentrated on the job that is inches in front of you. The fear comes later in life. I don't have many nightmares but when I do it is always my old jobs where thankfully nothing went wrong, but in my nightmares they do go wrong.
Thanks for the replies FRiends. :)
We have no money to spend on projects like this.
All available infrastructure money is already dedicated to constructing and refurbishing mosques in muslim countries around the world.
The Hussein signage that went up in my area is mostly down now.
It seems some people thought the round part resembled a pistol target.
My thoughts on this are as follows:
1. Ansel12 pegged it perfectly in an earlier post on this thread. Our nation's transportation infrastructure hasn't suffered simply because we don't spend enough money on it (that's true), but because our infrastructure is competing with all the other things that comprise our government expenditures. Much of it silly nonsense, and completely unproductive expenditures of public funds.
2. Many of the "solutions" proposed for this problem are either completely impractical or require the application of onerous, overbearing government authority. Regional planning is one area that comes fraught with this kind of risk. As I like to tell people who ask me "when you and your profession are going to fix our traffic problems" ... I can fix any problem related to transportation infrastructure, but in order for me to do it right you are going to have to give me the power to tell you where you will live, tell you where you will work, tell you how many kids you will have, tell you where they can travel, etc. Is that what we really want here?
3. Related to the previous item, I would make the point that transportation infrastructure is one area where inconsistency in policy and overlapping of roles between different levels of governing authority is particularly problematic. I would suggest that much of what "needs to be done" in order to "fix the problem" may well be incompatible with the U.S. Constitution. Something as simple (and commonly accepted) as national highway design and sign standards is a good example of this.
4. In addition to the difficulties associated with different levels of government, there is also the confluence and divergence of roles and responsibilities between the public and private sector in transportation. I'm surprised this article didn't broach this subject, since it relates to two infrastructure elements in particular. What exactly is the government's role in the development and maintenance of airports and maritime infrastructure where the users are private businesses?
5. And speaking of privatization ... We need to have a serious, objective discussion at all levels of government regarding the benefits, risks, and policy considerations for one approach in infrastructure development and maintenance that may be very effective at addressing public needs in a cost-effective manner -- namely, privatization.
6. One last item here is a reference to a great article I read recently on the subject of transportation infrastructure finance that I read recently in a professional publication I receive. Interestingly, the author of this article (an experienced and highly respected engineer, if I remember) suggested that: (a) our problem isn't as serious as it is often portrayed; and (b) groups like the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) that publish these annual "grades" for the nation's infrastructure lose a lot of credibility when they assign a "grade" of D- or F to a system of infrastructure that actually works very well for the American public despite all of its challenges.
These are just a few thoughts of mine on this subject. Flame away, folks!
As one interesting civil engineer once described to a client when discussing this very subject (related to a different matter -- railroad tracks, ties and switches) ... "Let's take an ax, for example. If I replace the ax head after five years and the handle after ten years, then I've replaced the entire ax even though I never bought a new ax!"
That’s what happens when the politicians impose road taxes and other “well meaning” levies on the People, then turn around and steal it from its intended use and give it to folks for “fairness” (not to mention buying votes) instead of using it for its stated intention... It’s not “society” that made it into the disgraceful problem, it’s the politicians.
I don’t know if those number are correct, but you may be misunderstanding what they’re saying. You would only get a 1:1 hours:gallons ratio if the definition of “traffic jams” only includes time spent at a full stop in traffic. Traffic jams can waste a lot of time without “wasting” a lot of fuel because the car that crawls in traffic would be using fuel anyway even if it were operating at full speed.
This must be outdated. Obama has been working on “crumbling roads and bridges” since 2007.
Lock ‘n load.
The Feds are too busy buying ammunition to protect their agents and to subdue an unruly population that refuses to “redistribute” their wages.
And then we have the unions that are too greedy, pad the bills, pay obscene wages to ghost workers and substitute Chinese steel.
But overall the uppermost reason is to blame the adopted ideology that nobody has the balls to call it openly, that Obama has changed America already into a socialistic society, a Communist country.
And when a country falls to communism so does its infrastructure, because they need to spend too much to subdue and to oppress the people.
I used to travel I-76 in northeastern Colorado frequently from 2002 to 2010. There was the usual construction for rebuilding along it. When the stimulus went into effect, those signs went up on projects that were nearly completed in the prior year. Explanations?
You cant count on Obama to take responsibility for his failed economic policy but you can count on him to crack a joke about it....and his minions to ignore the colossal failure.
Selling the *sizzle* not the *steak.*
Toll roads? No way. We're still fighting that crap in Texas. It never goes away, tolls always increase, and all too many politicians are too willing to sell public infrastructure to transnational corporations. It ends up as double taxation. Triple taxation if fuel taxes that are meant for the repair and upkeep of roads are maintained.
No doubt there are projects that need to be done. It's called "maintenance" and is a never ending responsibility. Last August I found the Indiana Turnpike to be in disrepair relative to the Ohio Turnpike, which raised questions whether the private lessor was the way to go. In contrast, this year it has all been repaved. The stretch through Gary was a mess last year. Now it is all done and rides fine.
Living in NE Ohio, where "frost heave" is our unoffical motto and the orange barrel the state flower, projects are at normal levels, ie, something always being repaired or maintained. No bridge collapses, no dam failures, when a water main breaks we fix it, so it goes. It's called "life goes on."
Some may call it a rant but you are right.
When the stupid no child hungry act of 2010 takes 104 pages to not say a word about what children are to eat at school but places all the decisions in the hands of the USDA administrators and then there are an additional 9 pages of summary crap that still say nothing about child nutrition ... what? We are rotting from inside.
Those are valid points, but there are different cases to be made when you’re talking about a new facility vs. putting a toll on an existing one. Think of an example here in the New York City area with one of the bridges between New York and New Jersey that is more than 80 years old, functionally obsolete, and badly in need of a full replacement. The bi-state agency that owns and operates it does not have the money to do the project, so they’ve basically presented the public with two options: (1) continue to operate it until it becomes structurally unsafe, or (2) cut a deal with private investors to have them come in and build a new bridge over the course of 2-3 years and then collect the toll revenue for 40 years before handing it back over to the bi-state agency.
Around here it's intersection curb cut-outs and bike paths. They ruined some perfectly good streets that had two lanes in each direction and choked traffic flow while bike lanes go unused. And a lot of them are uphill streets where no one but an Olympic athlete is going to ride uphill.
They put curb cut-outs at intersections that have no foot traffic, or where there are no sidewalks leading to them. How does a wheelchair get there? And, no curb cut-outs at intersections adjacent to schools where mothers hassle getting baby strollers off the curb. Nothing the government does makes sense.
I remember that well. I used to drive to Mass at least 5 times a year. We were lucky. Then we had to drive over a pontoon bridge for at least another year...
If you stay out of the Northeast, the extent of the problem diminishes. The problem is concentrated in Yankee land subject to delusional liberal failure. There are pockets else where but the concentration is north and east of Pennsylvania.
Lead paint remediation is far more important than the condition of bridges.
The I-95 corridor that runs along the CT shore has to be one of the most dangerous highways in the country. We avoid it like the plague, if we can,regardless of the poor infrastructure along the route.
I see that as a major problem then. You have an agency that has infrastructure that it cannot maintain - Why? Do they not receive fuel taxes from motorists for the repair and upkeep of that piece of infrastructure? Have they diverted it into other projects? Is that bi-state agency corrupt?
If a new bridge is built and paid for with tolls, will it fall into the same state with the bi-state agency at the helm in 40 years?
Frankly, I'm seeing a different issue, i.e. decaying infrastructure vs. that which has been minimally maintained so funds could be diverted into a pet project.