America’s Infrastructure: Dire Situation
The consequences of neglecting America’s infrastructure are dire and require immediate attention.
As the nation struggles to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is becoming increasingly clear that our infrastructure needs repair and modernization. From crumbling roads and bridges to aging dams and levees, the problems with our infrastructure are not only a matter of inconvenience but also a matter of public safety and economic well-being.
Roads and Bridges
One of the most visible examples of our failing infrastructure is our roads and bridges. According to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, one in three of America’s bridges is structurally deficient. Our roads are in such poor condition that it costs the average driver $516 a year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs.
But the problem isn’t just the cost to our pocketbooks. In 2018, a pedestrian bridge in Miami collapsed, killing six people and injuring ten more. And just last year, a bridge in Minneapolis collapsed during rush hour, injuring 145 people. These incidents highlight the real and immediate danger that failing infrastructure poses to public safety.
Our infrastructure problems extend beyond our roads and bridges. Our drinking water infrastructure is also in dire need of repair. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, our drinking water infrastructure needs $472 billion in investments to maintain and upgrade. This is crucial to ensure that every American has access to clean and safe drinking water.
And with climate change causing more extreme weather events, our levees and dams are also at risk. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey caused widespread flooding in Houston, and it was later revealed that many of the city’s levees and dams were not up to the task of protecting residents.
Lives Are at Risk
The cost of fixing all these problems can seem daunting, but it’s important to remember that the cost of not repairing them is even higher. The longer we wait to address our infrastructure problems, the more expensive they become. And the price goes beyond just money.
People’s lives and homes are at risk.
What Can We Do?
So what can we do? First and foremost, we need to invest in our infrastructure. The federal government has a role to play here, as do state and local governments. We can also support private sector investment in infrastructure projects.
And we can all do our part by supporting local efforts to improve our infrastructure, whether by advocating for better infrastructure in our communities or by supporting local bond measures to fund infrastructure projects.
The Time to Act is Now
This is not just a matter of fixing potholes or patching up bridges; it’s about protecting the lives and livelihoods of Americans and ensuring that our economy can continue to grow and prosper. It’s time for our leaders to take bold action and make the necessary investments in our infrastructure.
We cannot afford to wait any longer.
Sources and Further Reading
- Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure - House DPCC
- It’s Time for States to Invest in Infrastructure - CBPP
- America’s Aging Infrastructure Needs Our Support - Harvard
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.