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USA Transportation Infrastructure Woes

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posted on May, 18 2015 @ 09:24 PM
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a reply to: mysterioustranger

This time of year sucks because of all the construction kicking off. Everywhere we go there are big construction projects going on. Out west they at least know how to do it right.

You go out to Nebraska, and when they redo a road, they tear it up down to the dirt and completely rebuild it. And do it between spring and fall.




posted on May, 19 2015 @ 08:10 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Here in Michigan where we use tons of salt in winter...they go down my street filling holes with asphalt....THEN...the city plows come down and TEAR OUT the same asphalt...and a couple weeks later? Yep...Same guy with the shovel comes and fills the holes again...next snow...here comes the plow to rip it all out...over and over.

Our nation's infrastructure everywhere is equally as bad with most situations needing serious overhauling.

Thanks MS



posted on May, 19 2015 @ 09:08 PM
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a reply to: mysterioustranger

There's a LOT of work going on this year. We came out of Michigan and through Illinois today. One stretch of I-69 and I-70 there were three or four bridges dismantled being replaced, in addition to multiple stretches of repaving.



posted on May, 20 2015 @ 02:07 AM
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The Politics of Roadway Rehabilitation, Maintenance, and Upgrading
I love roads, bridges, and railways... I love them so much, I went to college, got a degree in Civil Engineering, and design them for a living.

Ultimately, there is a long list of reasons why the maintenance of America's infrastructure is failing, but you can distill that long list down to three issues.

1. Funds: The money to do everything that's needed while also constructing brand new facilities which are needed simply isn't there.

2. Time: If you live in a state with a short summer construction season, you should understand the limits that places on roadway projects. The primary driver for the time constraint is how much inconvenience the public is willing to submit themselves to. Say you have 3 primary East/West through routes within 3 miles of each other and each is in need of work... God help the Project Manager who approves closing all three of those routes to work on them in the same sequence of construction seasons. People aren't willing to inconvenience themselves and, honestly, businesses can and have been put out of business due to losing a construction season's worth of revenue because the road in front of their store was shut down to a single lane and their customers couldn't be bothered by the delays.

3. Politics: This one is HUGE. Let's say you have a 50 year old roadway that connects two communities. When that roadway was initially constructed, it may have seen a couple thousand vehicles per day on a busy holiday weekend. Chances are those numbers have risen sharply since then, however. That roadway that was designed as a 2 lane, level of service B facility may now be operating a LOS F and require 4 or even 6 lanes to reach an acceptable level of service today. Once you factor in the "sensitive land" issues, the cultural site impacts, the environmental concerns, the "environmental justice" (look it up, it doesn't mean what you think it does!) and all the horsecrap the regulators put the project through, you'll end up having politicians who are scared to death of the project. Then, just for giggles, take a project that the politicans agree is vital and must be built and watch the "alternative transportation" jackasses wade into the conversation... now we're looking at bus lanes, HOV lanes, light rail provisions, ADA pedestrian facilities, bike lanes, AND multiuse separated pathways... by the time the DOT has heard all the demands, chances are they've determined it is easier to just use the money they have to throw a chip seal on the road, sand blast and repaint the bridge girders, and walk away from the idea of doing what is REALLY needed.

EDIT TO ADD: A small bit of engineering knowledge regarding the topic of service life. Strongly dependent on use, percentage of heavy truck traffic, soil conditions, and weather conditions, Hot Mix Asphalt and PCC are almost always at their full service life after 20 years. (Often can be as low as 10 years). That means every 10 years or so, the top of the surface should be roughed up by a grinder and then either a chip seal, popcorn seal, or Recycled Asphalt resurfacing should be performed and every 20 years the road should be milled down to the aggregate course, any potholes corrected to full depth, and the entire road fully resurfaced with the structural section of asphalt or PCC. Somewhere around 25-50 years, the entire structural section depth to the subbase should be torn up, the subbase recompacted, and the entire roadway reconstructed (also all culverts replaced, although it is a rare culvert that will survive 50 years.) Bridges are way too diverse a topic to cover this way, as it is entirely dependent on their material and support mechanisms. My point is there is no magic bullet. Roads aren't going to last indefinitely thanks to aggressive maintenance. Their service lives can be extended safely for a time, but eventually it is just like giving a rust bucket a fancy paint job over the rust. It really isn't doing much.
edit on 20-5-2015 by burdman30ott6 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 20 2015 @ 10:56 AM
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Excellent reply. Thank you.
a reply to: burdman30ott6



posted on May, 20 2015 @ 04:07 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

We had a mom and her kids get a huge concrete chunk crash through the rear view mirror section of the windshield nearly killing them. You have to look up around here every time you go under an overpass

And guess what you see mostly? HUGE sheets of plywood...strapped to the crumbling parts above.



posted on May, 20 2015 @ 04:11 PM
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a reply to: mysterioustranger

They just announced last night that the US9-I35 overpass in Oklahoma City is closed indefinitely because it has a hole in it.



posted on May, 20 2015 @ 06:25 PM
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There are between 68,000 & 70,000 deficient bridges within the USA.

The photo below shows a structure built to catch falling bridge components.



a reply to: bucsarg




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