It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

USA Transportation Infrastructure Woes

page: 1
6
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on May, 17 2015 @ 11:17 AM
link   
As most Americans know our transportation infrastructure is decayed. Many of our bridges are actually falling apart and yet we are allowed to travel over them. I could go on but my desire is to know why is this allowed to continue? Are there any of you out there know why our USA Federal Government is not instituting a grand plan to upgrade these infrastructures?




posted on May, 17 2015 @ 11:49 AM
link   
a reply to: bucsarg

Because if it was done completely, hundreds of thousands of workers would be unemployed. If I asked the guy who goes down a street like here in Michigan who is just throwing some cheap asphalt to fill a pothole instead of the city, county, state just fixing the whole road all at once...once and for all...why it isn't? He just smile and shovel some more into the holes....Ill tell you...it keeps them working. Fill after fill, pothole after pothole, year in, year out.

We could have structurally sound bridges, overpasses, highways like the Autobahn in Germany...but we think HERE in Michigan...all those State, County and municipal Highway Commission drivers, fillers etc...would not have jobs and thatll drive up the unemployment percentage and screw the economy.

I know that logic is flawed with our national safety at risk, but if you've been around the last 30 or so years in the US...you too have probably seen some roads patched and patched again, even replaced every so many decades...an it starts all over.

Bridges too barely ever get replaced completely. In fact? The Detroit/Windsor Ambassador Bridge connecting Detroit to Windsor Canada has rivets, bolts and struts rusted through in and out...and they only replace a few at a time if at all. The bridge is in serious need of upgrading, and in fact another one is soon to be built there connecting the US and Canada.*

*By the way? The Ambassador Bridge here is privately owned by a multi-millionaire...who could care less. He even fought the building of the second bridge because he'd lose toll fares.

Large pieces of concrete too have been falling off freeway overpasses and crashing down on cars as well. The Road Commission takes large pieces of plywood and puts them up over the road and UNDER the overpasses...where they too could fall...

Its a shame the infrastructure is so far gone...it would need complete overhauling...but.....when they built the infrastructure...there were never any plans down the road...to upgrade.

When it would need it? Those workers who built it, knew they'd be long gone. Leave it up to the future planners....


edit on 17-5-2015 by mysterioustranger because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 11:52 AM
link   
Probably because you can't wave a magic wand and the bridge fairy fixes everything. Someone has to pay for it and we are already spending money we don't have bombing brown people for no good reason. I'm pretty sure that sums up an answer to your question.
edit on 2015/5/17 by Metallicus because: sp



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 12:33 PM
link   
a reply to: mysterioustranger

I don't buy that at all.

If our government decided to go all in with infrastructure improvements instead of funding wars and aid to foreign countries, there would be hundreds of thousands if not millions of good paying jobs for many, many years to come. Roads, bridges, water pipes, gas pipes, electrical, rail, communications and more. It actually makes my head spin to think of how much work there would be.

Once everything has been upgraded and/or replaced things will still need constant maintenance and support.

The only real reason it hasn't been done, in my opinion, is because there are no politicians with the balls to tell the government to spend money on our country instead of the rest of the world.



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 01:09 PM
link   
a reply to: jtrenthacker

Agree 100%


We also have a very vulnerable power grid and "civilization ending" concerns with a natural or man made EMP which could kill 90% of our population. (see Carrington Event)

This could be rectified for a fraction of what we are spending overseas.

I see this as our largest physical national security concern.



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 01:22 PM
link   
a reply to: mysterioustranger

It would take years to do all the roads in the US. Places like Nebraska and Wyoming can only work on the roads a few months out of the year. Once the weather starts to go bad they have to stop working until the weather clears up again.

Bridges aren't replaced because it causes massive problems. We went through a stretch in Indiana yesterday where they're replacing the bridge, and it took us almost an hour to go 8 miles because traffic was so backed up from people trying to use the other routes to get where they needed.



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 01:44 PM
link   
Wealthy companies & individuals don't want to spend the money to upgrade our infrastructure and poor people can't afford too. It's simply more important to them to make money than to spend it.

Infrastructure special interests & lobbyists aren't as powerful as defense special interests & lobbyists. Our federal politicians have happily allocated trillions of dollars to the Departments of Defense & Homeland Security (combined) over the last decade. But domestic infrastructure only gets enough funds to patch things up. And neither R's nor D's care enough to change that (their political leadership).

Also, people have to realize that from a nation building point of view, infrastructure is usually developed to maximize trade & defense of that trade. This includes any infrastructure needed to acquire the raw materials, to process or refine them, export them, and all transportation needs between those areas. If a region needs more electricity to feed a growing regional industry, those leaders will work on that. Otherwise, it'll take local taxes & investments to get the infrastructure developed.

Unfortunately, the US already has all of the infrastructure it needs. That infrastructure is crumbling, inefficient, and outdated, but it gets the job done well enough to not be a priority. And many times the costs for cutting edge improvements are too high to justify the benefits economically. That's why it usually takes a combination of government funds, corporate investment, and/or foreign investment to get new infrastructure projects going. But if those projects have cost overruns or don't meet the expected revenue or benefits forecasts, it will be harder to get funding for more similar projects.

I'll end it by saying I think we're tapped out. This is the pinnacle of national infrastructure unless something catastrophic happens. I'd absolutely love a high speed rail system that connected the coasts, but that's a pipe dream now. Costs are too high & no one's willing to raise the taxes to fund it.



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 01:49 PM
link   

originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: mysterioustranger

It would take years to do all the roads in the US. Places like Nebraska and Wyoming can only work on the roads a few months out of the year. Once the weather starts to go bad they have to stop working until the weather clears up again.

Bridges aren't replaced because it causes massive problems. We went through a stretch in Indiana yesterday where they're replacing the bridge, and it took us almost an hour to go 8 miles because traffic was so backed up from people trying to use the other routes to get where they needed.


You bring up another good point. Daily life doesn't stop for infrastructure development. Adding new roads, bridges, and rail are bothersome, but replacing them can be downright chaotic. Not to mention issues over property rights vs imminent domain. And it takes so long to do these things correctly, there's no way to upgrade them all at the same time or it will literally shut down the cities.



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 01:57 PM
link   
a reply to: enlightenedservant

But we shouldn't have to raise taxes. Quit spending money on other parts of the world and we would have more than enough. Plus the added benefit of millions of good paying jobs. Imagine what that could do for our economy.



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 05:46 PM
link   
a reply to: bucsarg

Living in Washington St. and being directly affected by the collapse on I-5 in Burlington, I ran a thread on this issue and learned quite a bit about the subject.

I believe, the feds gives highway and maintenance funds directly to the state. it is the states responsibility to maintain the infrastructure. There are no 'federal highway crews.

In the case of the Burlington bridge, there are two entirely state paid and maintained bridges less than 1/2 a mile from the I-5 crossing. In perfect condition...

The collapse was entirely the state of Washington's responsibility. (The feds ended up paying for the whole repair) Washington did immediately institute repairs on similar crossings on I-5 further south. (Another collapse would have likely resulted in law suits..)

The politicians, both parties, like new projects with ribbon cutting ceremonies and picture taking opportunities.

Apparently, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. This means if you have bad infrastructure in your area, make noise to your local Representatives and demand action.



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 05:47 PM
link   

originally posted by: jtrenthacker
a reply to: enlightenedservant

But we shouldn't have to raise taxes. Quit spending money on other parts of the world and we would have more than enough. Plus the added benefit of millions of good paying jobs. Imagine what that could do for our economy.



And imagine what would happen when the fixing was done.

But didn't we have something that was supposed to address this? I think we did. It was called Stimulus, and we had all these shovel ready jobs. So why is our infrastructure still crumbling?

I am forced to conclude that it isn't that private businesses don't want to have the infrastructure kept up, but it is equally that government doesn't want to keep it up. If government really wanted our infrastructure kept up and repaired, at least some of these issues would have been addressed by the Stimulus back in 2009/2010.

Also, logistics with these projects is no joke. I live in a city split by a river. We have a significant portion of the city commuting north to south every day. There are five major bridge routes over that river. At one point, between the two state traffic dept. and the city and the federal, we have about three of those routes shut down. Can you imagine the commuter chaos that caused?

That brings me to another problem. Not all of the infrastructure in question is a federal thing. The city I mentioned above? It has roads overseen by federal authority, roads overseen by the depts. of transportation of two separate states and the city authority. None of those entities communicate on which projects they are doing when, and none of them derive their funding form the same source.

So when you look at a road or bridge, you have to ask yourself which dept. is responsible for it before you start blasting this or that agency for not wanting to pay for it or take care of it. It may not be their responsibility in truth.



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 06:45 PM
link   
As an engineer and one who has spent the last decade in maintenance, I can speak with authority when I say that when we as individuals or in societal issues build, buy or otherwise create structures, mechanisms, or machinery that serves our needs, we may be willing to pay the initial costs of purchase, but we are seldom willing to pay for the massive amounts of upkeep that all of these devices and systems require. Machinery is a wonderful thing and I have made my living by designing, creating and implementing it, but like all improvements in life, there are always costs that come along with the conveniences. Most of you out there drive your cars every day, (I say this because I ride a motorcycle instead), and pay little attention to them until they simply stop working, (I am guilty as well). Sure we change the oil frequently, but none of us do what should be done every day to insure they are running at optimal levels, just as the bridges, roads, buildings and every other machine and structure we use is severely under attended to, (if you read any of the manuals). Sometimes, occasionally, some of us weirdo's do what is called for and you wind up like me with a 20 year old 10 HP Ariens snow blower that looks and works like it was brand new, but more often everyone heads out to HD to purchase a new, inferior model.

The simple fact of the matter is that the more we collect, as an individual OR a society, the less able we are to maintain these things for either a time or a cost, or both reason. I can only go back to a company I used to work for where the catch phrase used to be SIBAKIS, See It Big Keep It Simple. A catchy phrase, but not very possible today.



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 07:25 PM
link   
Well.... let me take a stab at the reason(s) we don't see anything being done.

I suspect that in order to generate sufficient long term funding to rebuild the infrastructure that it will take a tax increase. No politician will risk his/her office by politicing for a tax increase.

The American public is not sufficiently inconvenienced yet. So they will not support having to shell out any of their money to a tax increase. It will take ongoing wreckage and deaths by failing infrastructure before the public will support such a tax. Then the politicians will rise up to establish a plan to rebuild.

a reply to: bucsarg



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 07:29 PM
link   

originally posted by: bucsarg
Well.... let me take a stab at the reason(s) we don't see anything being done.

I suspect that in order to generate sufficient long term funding to rebuild the infrastructure that it will take a tax increase. No politician will risk his/her office by politicing for a tax increase.

The American public is not sufficiently inconvenienced yet. So they will not support having to shell out any of their money to a tax increase. It will take ongoing wreckage and deaths by failing infrastructure before the public will support such a tax. Then the politicians will rise up to establish a plan to rebuild.

a reply to: bucsarg



Why a tax increase? Why not a re-prioritizing of the budget?

I'll bet we could trim a lot of fat, some of the alphabet agencies, a lot of foreign aid, re-structure the welfare state, and a lot of other things that would free up a lot of funds.

So until we do that, why just gobble up more?



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 07:39 PM
link   

originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: mysterioustranger

It would take years to do all the roads in the US. Places like Nebraska and Wyoming can only work on the roads a few months out of the year. Once the weather starts to go bad they have to stop working until the weather clears up again.

Bridges aren't replaced because it causes massive problems. We went through a stretch in Indiana yesterday where they're replacing the bridge, and it took us almost an hour to go 8 miles because traffic was so backed up from people trying to use the other routes to get where they needed.


Exactly - long-term, good paying (hopefully union) jobs that can't be outsourced.



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 07:41 PM
link   
a reply to: bucsarg

I cannot speak for any State but my own, New Jersey, but our experiences is that when we do put aside ANY amount of money into a fund or a trust or a bag under the sink, like our Transportation Trust Fund or any of the many state pension funds, the politician sell out scum have always simply stole the bags of money and lined their own pockets and the pockets of their friends and family members. They will do it again and every time the cash is gathered because they are criminal scum. There is the biggest reason that our "infrastructure" cannot be maintained. It is that the criminals in government cannot be trusted to do the job.



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 07:52 PM
link   
You make way too much sense. Our current federal government would never think like this.

a reply to: ketsuko



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 08:41 PM
link   
Back when I lived in California, two counties I lived/worked in were excellent when it came to the upkeep of their roads. True, we often had to to deal with road construction and with times, but they were more efficient than other places when it came to wait times.

It provided many jobs and payed well for those who could handle the physical stress of the job. I say physical stress because they would sometimes be out there in over 100 degree weather. You could tell by watching that they were working hard and not slacking. The flaggers would be on their feet for more 10-12 hours a day.

I was always amazed when I went to other places, especially out of state at the poor quality of the roads. The common place of temporary crack and pothole fillers amazed me.

The jobs are on going! Roads are always in need of repair. Bridges need maintenance to remain safe. Even of infrequently used roads, weather creates damage.

My conclusion? Road construction workers usually get paid middle class wages. Can't have that when you are trying to destroy the middle class.

Granted it is at the cost of tax payers, but wouldn't you rather pay wages for people who work hard, while benefiting form better roads than to pay for a potential road construction workers welfare check?



posted on May, 18 2015 @ 12:58 AM
link   

originally posted by: jtrenthacker
a reply to: enlightenedservant

But we shouldn't have to raise taxes. Quit spending money on other parts of the world and we would have more than enough. Plus the added benefit of millions of good paying jobs. Imagine what that could do for our economy.



That sounds good in theory but it will simply never happen. Most of the money the federal govt spends overseas is because of treaties, military expenditures to protect American interests overseas, "Aid for Trade" type programs, etc. As long as both political parties are pushing free trade, there will always be a need for us to secure our assets & supply chains overseas. Our military bases supply the muscle while our aid & trade programs provide the funding, training, logistical support, etc.

As long as the wealthy GCC nations continue to support the petrodollar, the US will always keep our bases in the Middle East. And the US will continue to send billions in military aid to Egypt, as long as Egypt continues its peace treaty with Israel. It's the same with our bases in Germany & other NATO countries, our bases in Japan, South Korea, and other nations in the Pacific. All of these cost a lot of money and divert funding from domestic programs.

The tax raises I mentioned would have to target the multinational corporations & the uber wealthy, simply because they're the ones receiving all of the economic growth. But that won't happen either. After all, which politicians at the national level are willing to bite the hands that feed them, their friends, their families, their neighbors, etc?



posted on May, 18 2015 @ 09:02 PM
link   
a reply to: Zaphod58

Howdy Zaphod...nice to hear from you. Thats my point in a nutshell....the length of time, inconvenience, re-routing involved in a complete overhall of everything would be a nightmare only EVERYWHERE during the process.



new topics

top topics



 
6
<<   2 >>

log in

join