Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

Report: Roughly 60,000 bridges across country are structurally deficient.

Last week, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority shut down the entire Metrorail system for a whole day – in the middle of the week – to perform emergency inspections and maintenance on more than 600 electric cables. As you might expect, it was a huge deal for commuters in the DC area.

This week, our regular reminder that America’s public infrastructure is decaying and in badly need of repair is a little more subtle, but it’s still DC-related. Jeff Rossen, a Today show correspondent, took a tour of the Arlington Memorial Bridge – and the state of disrepair into which this iconic span has fallen is pretty shocking:

The Today Show report comes on the heels of a report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association that notes there are roughly 204 million daily crossings of nearly 60,000 deficient bridges in the United States. You might have even crossed one yourself today.

But while this news isn’t new, it’ worth repeating: America’s infrastructure has been crumbling a long time, and we’ve done very little about it. Despite Congress signing off on $300 billion for transportation projects over six years, there’s still a $900 billion backlog of work to do.

Next time you find yourself driving over a rickety bridge, remember: We’re long overdue for a major investment in all forms of our infrastructure.