The recent tragedy of the bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy inspired me to post this item today. Instead of wasting billions on a Mexican boarder wall and a military parade, perhaps we should focus on fixing our crumbling infrastructure before a similar disaster happens here in the US.
You may recall, back in August 2007, the dangerous and decaying state of America's infrastructure became a shocking reality when the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge in Minneapolis collapsed, sending vehicles crashing into the river below. 13 people were killed while another 145 were injured. A decade later, a new analysis by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) has found that 54,259 bridges in the U.S. are structurally deficient. Placed end-to-end, they would stretch 1,216 miles, nearly the distance from New York City to Miami.
That's right. Nearly 55,000 bridges in this country are structurally deficient and face a similar disaster. It gets even more concerning when you see that the majority of those bridges are all across major rivers in the US (namely the Mississippi River), although the bridges in Pennsylvania come in 2nd for being the least structurally sound.
U.S. drivers cross those bridges 174 million times a day and on average, a structurally deficient bridge is 67 years old. Dr. Alison Premo Black carried out the analysis for the ARTBA and she has said that if things continue at their current pace, it would take 37 years to repair all of the bridges that need attention. With a total of 5,067 of them, Iowa has the most structurally deficient bridges, followed by Pennsylvania (4,174) and Oklahoma (3,234).