Yesterday, a bridge collapsed on Interstate 5, the main thoroughfare connecting Seattle, Washington to Vancouver. Although no one was killed, several people were seriously injured as their cars were dropped into the river.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators are looking in to the cause of the crash – a semi-truck that may have crashed into the bridge – but one thing is certain:
Safe bridges don’t collapse.
Our roads and bridges are in terrible condition. 25% of bridges are “structurally deficient or functionally obsolete” – including the Skagit River bridge that collapsed.
Every day, millions of people will cross one of the 66,000 bridges that the federal government has deemed “structurally deficient”.
It’s time to fix our infrastructure.
In fact, there’s never been a better time to build up this country. Interest rates on 10-year treasury bonds are historically low, there are hundreds of thousands of construction workers available, and the economy could use the boost of that spending.
Yes, it is difficult to think about a 2 trillion dollar investment in our infrastructure, but we don’t really have a choice. We can pay to fix the roads and bridges now, or they will continue to fall apart.
Look at this map of all the structurally deficient bridges in the U.S. Next time a bridge collapses, the consequences could be much worse.