Tuesday, February 22, 2011

US Infrastructure at a Crossroads

This is what happens when playing politics is more important than dealing with the very real problems we face:

From the NY Times:

Of the nation’s 85,000 dams, more than 4,400 are considered susceptible to failure, according to the Association of State Dam Safety Officials. But repairing all those dams would cost billions of dollars, and it is far from clear who would provide all the money in a recessionary era.


Nationwide, the potential repair costs are staggering. A 2009 report by the state dam safety officials’ group put the cost of fixing the most critical dams — where failure could cause loss of life — at $16 billion over 12 years, with the total cost of rehabilitating all dams at $51 billion. But those figures do not include Lake Isabella and other dams among the approximately 3,000 that are owned by the federal government. The corps, for example, says that more than 300 of the roughly 700 dams it is responsible for need safety-related repairs, and estimates the total fix-up bill at about $20 billion.

Check out the Report Card on America's Infrastructure:

2009 Grades:
Aviation D
Bridges C
Dams D
Drinking Water D-
Energy D+
Hazardous Waste D
Inland Waterways D-
Levees D-
Public Parks and Recreation C-
Rail C-
Roads D-
Schools D
Solid Waste C+
Transit D
Wastewater D-

America's Infrastructure GPA: D

Estimated 5 Year Investment Need: $2.2 Trillion

The US invests 2.4% of our GDP in our infrastructure. Not only is more investment crucial to our future - it would also create jobs. This is the direction we should be moving in to fix our economy. These are solid investment, unlike the kind favored by Wall St tricksters over the past decade. This should be our national priority.

cross-posted at MainSt/workingamerica.org

1 comment:

DissedBelief said...

Why isn't the GOP displaying true patriotism and leadership by creating jobs to rehabilitate a dying infrastructure? The answer lies in their desire for personal gain and wealth. The same behavior that allowed Mubarak to become some $70 billion wealthy and Ghadafi to stay in power as long as he has. Hypocrisy is their highest order and the devastating bridge collapse that happened in the midwest a couple of years ago is the start of a disastrous chain of events from a now dangerous infrastructure that has never been maintained. I guess Katrina has already been forgotten. What a disgrace we are.