Friday, August 03, 2007
America's long Ignored failing infrastructure!
As we now know The interstate highway bridge that collapsed into the Mississippi River had been rated "structurally deficient" for 17 years and was regularly inspected by state engineers, who spotted corroded bearings and stress fractures but remained confident that the bridge was safe, authorities said Thursday.
A federal inspection in 1990 declared the Interstate 35W bridge deficient, noting a history of fractures along the plates that hold together structural arches. The bearings, which hold up the main trusses, were corroded. And the "approach spans" — the portions of the bridge rising up from both banks — had developed stress fractures.
Another federal inspection gave the bridge — the busiest in the state — 50 points out of a possible 100 for structural stability. That gave it a rating of "structurally deficient." A federal report from 2005 found about 75,000 bridges nationwide in that category — including 1,140 other bridges in Minnesota. Authorities emphasized that such bridges do not necessarily need urgent repair and are not deemed an imminent danger." 'Structurally deficient' means some portions of the bridge need to be scheduled for repair or replacement. It doesn't mean that the bridge is unsafe," U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters said.
As far as I am concerned with the Federal Government having given that Bridge a failing grade which a 50 is to me, its ultimate allowed failure and resultant death is the direct responsibility of the Government. Once they step into a situation it is up to them to see that things are done and done right. It is a fallacy today but I always thought the Federal Government was our ultimate Defender, not today. This is just one of 75,000 bridges in that categoty. Can you Imagine?
Anyway now that once again an avoidable crisis has occurred Bush now promises a robust Federal response. Yeah right, just like Katrina where that robust Federal response went in the pockets of his cronies due to his insistance on no oversight so they can rip us off.
Are those people supposed to feel comforted? Promising Federal money may work but only if its management and control is kept on a State level and with "oversight".
I think they can manage a bridge but not much more.
I am very concerned when I see the Nations entire infrastructure failing with a medical system that can barely function on a good day and a Federal Government that cannot function period.
I am reminded that during Katrina Bush told us you cannot put first responders and pre position emergency goods in harms way. Then with his own State faced with Hurricane Rita all of a sudden it was okay to pre postion supplies and personnel in the line of an on coming hurricane/natural disaster. However we learned from Rita that this too is worthless and we are increasingly trapped and on our own when facing a large crisis natural or man made. With Rita people were dying because the routes out were clogged. People ran out of gas and food and there was no escape route or medical care and supplies.
All this just highlights the fact that We are in serious trouble if we have a concerted terrorist attack or a real bad disaster whether it is man made or natural. Are we ever in trouble and on our own!