The US aging infrastructure has been affecting the American lives for many years now. The country’s infrastructure is crumbling and the government must act fast.
The USA infrastructure at the Federal level received a D+ rating from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) on a scale of A through F. This is the same grade it got in 2013.
Yes, the US deteriorating infrastructure needs vital attention because of the risks they present to the American society.
Threats to life
The collapse of the Interstate 35W Bridge in Minneapolis in 2007 is a clear example. This 8-lane steel truss arch bridge that was opened to the public in 1967 killed 13 and injured 145.
In 2013, the Interstate 5 Bridge in Washington State collapsed after a truck hit its overhead support trusses, injuring 3 people. The steel-and-cement bridge was built in 1955, the designs were considered cheaper but critical.
Engineers deemed these bridges to be functionally obsolete, which means the bridges were not according to the current standards. They were aging and need repair.
CBS News reported in 2013 that “About 18,000 fracture critical bridges were built from the mid-1950s through the late 1970s in an effort to complete the nation’s interstate highway system, which was launched under President Dwight Eisenhower, LePatner said in an interview. The fracture critical bridge designs were cheaper than bridges designed with redundancy, he said.”
There are more. In 2010, the 54-year old gas pipeline ruptured in Bruno, California and killed 8 people, injured many and burned 38 homes and properties.
Given that the US needs to rehabilitate its deteriorating infrastructure, a reliable infrastructure asset management should be in place to ensure risk management and sustainability of rehabilitation or renewal.
With water utility infrastructure that dates back to the mid-20th century and an estimated 240,000 water main breaks every year, the US has a serious problem.
The wastage of over 2 trillion gallons of treated drinking water and contamination due to water breaks are major concerns.
Infrastructure is the foundation of the economy and investments boost it as they provide jobs and business opportunities.
Modernized infrastructure can make the US more globally competitive and ensures the country’s future.
ASCE estimates that the US needs about $4.5 trillion by 2025 to upgrade the state of its infrastructure.
There is so much to do
Of the 614,387 bridges in the country, at least 200,000 are more than 50 years old and could cost about $123 billion to repair them.
Congestion in US airports is turning into a major concern too.
ASCE reports that there are about 2 million people per day coming through airports.
ASCE estimates that 24 of the 30 airports might soon experience heavy traffic volume one day a week.
In all these possible infrastructure rehabilitation and renewal boom, the infrastructure asset management component must be included so that the maintenance and operation of infrastructure will not be neglected from now on.
Infrastructure is the backbone of the nation’s economy and an efficient and well-maintained infrastructure systems impact the overall welfare of the country.
How far are the infrastructure management authorities managing the risks that aging infrastructure are presenting?