Thursday, August 02, 2007

If it's not new or not sexy, we're not going to pay

Could the Minneapolis bridge collapse shake things up?

I was talking to a colleague this morning; he thought that perhaps as a country we'll start thinking about spending money here at home rather than spending money for the Iraq War.

Did you realize that the Pentagon is projecting the total cost of the war in Iraq to be in excess of $1 trillion dollars.

Can you imagine what we could do with that kind of money? I can't fathom it.

John Holusha and Kenneth Chang in the New York Times note,
A steam pipe explodes near Grant Central Terminal, a levee fails and floods New Orleans, a bridge collapses in Minneapolis.

These disasters are an indication that this country is not investing enough in keeping its vital infrastructure in good repair, engineering experts warn.

“Governments do not want to pay for maintenance because it is not sexy,” said John Ochsendorf, a structural engineer and an associate professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He said the bulk of the nation’s highway system was built in the 1950s and 1960s and is ageing. Referring to the collapse in Minneapolis, he said “This type of event could become more common.”
More common? This is what happens in Third World countries, not here in the U.S. of A. What can we, you and I, do to bring this up short?

1 comment:

  1. Were your parents on the bridge? (Given the photo, I suspect yes, just looking to clarify). Are they all right?

    Are you from here? I have lived in the Cities for over 10 years now, can't count the number of times I've crossed that bridge.

    So scary, and to think this issue has gone neglected for so long!

    About a year ago or so, a local news station did a thing on the condition of bridges in the state of MN, and I'm actually kind of surprised they haven't pulled out their old footage. Unless, of course, it didn't include the I-35W bridge.