Thursday, August 02, 2007

All Fall Down

The bridge program provides federal assistance to repair or replace aging bridge infrastructure. Even though over 80,000 bridges are still dangerously unsafe, bridge repair remains a low priority in many states, and billions of dollars in bridge program "funding has been diverted to other uses."

The bridge program dates to 1978, when Congress greatly expanded funding to address a bridge system that was rapidly deteriorating and threatening public safety. As recently as 1992, 1 in 5 bridges nationwide were classified as structurally deficient. The bridge program is designed to address this threat head-on; each state receives funds based on its share of the total cost to repair or replace all deficient bridges nationwide. Thus all states have access to the funds necessary to make essential repairs.

Although Congress has allocated $29.3 billion to the bridge program over the last ten fiscal years, many bridges continue to have chronic safety problems. Bridge quality has improved overall since ISTEA was enacted, but even today, over 83,000 bridges – 14% – are structurally deficient. Off-system (local) bridges are especially troubling, with deficiency rates over twice that of their on-system (federal) counterparts.

-----Now, granted, it's easy and fun to scream falling bridges and breaking levees because BushCo is blowing all our money in Iraq – but this funding diverted to other programs has gone on for decades, locally. As in : Hey buddy politician my company needs a project – hows about we pave that 4 mile dirt road out there in Bufmuck County for a projected cost of 10 million, and I'll hire you brother, sister, and son as project manager, consultant, and subcontractor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

unbelievable how everything is just falling apart from decades of corruption and negligence. i

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