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America's Infrastructure Failing - Research Paper Example

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America's Infrastructure Failing

It is both an actual and metaphorical foundation of society. This has been an issue needing a solution for at least 25 years. An effort was made in the 1990’s but fell short of what was necessary even then. Today the situation is dire according to a study recently completed by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Though a slow economy is often blamed for not having the ability to fund massive projects nationwide, it is that very funding which would immediately improve the economy. A faction in Congress believes strict austerity measures are the answer to the National Debt problem and that the nation cannot afford a stimulus package to supply jobs, repair infrastructure and give the economy a boost. This is the same faction that caused the government to shut down for no reason and don’t acknowledge the failed austerity experiment Europe has been experiencing. It won’t likely be this historically inept Congress that pulls the economy out its slow growth period while building for the future but maybe the public persuade them if the problem is framed correctly, a task President Obama is attempting, again. What’s the cost of an aging infrastructure as opposed to repairing and replacing it? America’s answer has been to patch it as it breaks while other countries are preparing for the future while creating jobs. Following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy along the east coast last year the electrical infrastructure was not worth salvaging. Instead of replacing it with a high tech ‘smart grid’ the same old system was rebuilt. A tragedy brought opportunity but it was an opportunity lost. The Chinese are replacing their electric lines, not because it was something they had to do, it is the smart thing to do. China’s new power lines lose seven percent of its energy after traveling1200 miles. U.S. power lines lose 80 percent over the same distance. Energy loss is expensive. A 2013 infrastructure report complied by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) predict that by 2020 business could be burdened with an additional $1.2 trillion in the cost of doing business such as problems associated with water main breaks, electric blackouts and shoddy roads which slows traffic and causes vehicle damage. “If we look at New Orleans alone,” said Assistant Legislative Director for the United Steelworkers Roxanne Brown, “it was ultimately a failure of infrastructure, the levees that devastated a commanding share of the city in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.” Many businesses will never recover. It’s a ‘pay me now or pay me later’ proposition. It’s anybody’s guess how climate change will exacerbate an already critical situation. It’s certain though that the dilapidated, antique infrastructure cannot endure through climate extremes because it’s already been falling apart for decades. The ASCE predicts the total cost to do nothing is prohibitively high, again, 1.2 trillion for businesses and $610 billion for taxpayers. (Justuan, 2013). The nation’s infrastructure report card is in, graded according to facts obtained by ASCE. America’s bridges are narrow and old, many well past their projected lifespan. About one-quarter are deemed “structurally deficient.” Bridges built during and for another time, the 1950’s and 1960’s, cause traffic congestion because the bridge too often have fewer lanes that ...Show more


Name Instructor Class Date America’s Failing Infrastructure America’s infrastructure is crumbling. We’ve all heard these words, drive on rough streets and watch bridges fall into the river on the television news. Many of the water and sewer systems were built before anyone alive today was born and those telephone lines in the background of silent films are still the standard for electricity delivery…
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Americas Infrastructure Failing essay example
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