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Here's some bad news for all of us: Over 150,000 bridges in the U.S. have been judged to be "structurally deficient or functionally obsolete." And get this, there are less than 598,000 bridges in America. That means 25.7% aren't in very good shape. It turns out that the state with the most structurally deficient or functionally obsolete (SD/FO) bridges is Texas, with 9,564 such bridges. However, Texas is ginormous – almost half the size of Alaska – and therefore has a lot of bridges, but the percentage of Texan SD/FO bridges is 19%. And that's significantly lower than the national average.
Blair Anundson, a WashPIRG organizer, said the report isn't meant to impugn any public officials, but rather point out that they are hamstrung by a flawed system. Changes need to be made so that transportation spending meets the public's greater needs and doesn't serve the "narrow interests of the biggest contributors," he said.
Up for grabs at the negotiating table is worldwide privatization and deregulation of public energy and water utilities, postal services, higher education and state alcohol distribution controls; a new right for foreign firms to obtain U.S. Small Business Administration loans; elimination of a list of specific U.S. state laws about land use, professional licensing and consumer protections, and extreme deregulation of private-sector service industries such as insurance, banking, mutual funds and securities. www.commondreams.org...