CNN recently revealed their findings from an investigation that found that more than 60,000 bridges across the United States have been deemed structurally unsound. Many bridges in the US are in desperate need of repair. This is due to deterioration, corrosion and general wearing out. Over 200 million times a day, Americans are driving over these structurally unsound bridges that are almost at their breaking points.
Former Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood said, “We’re like a third-world country when it comes to infrastructure.” According to the congressional budget office, federal spending on infrastructure has declined by 9% since 2003 to 2014. Some bridges even have netting to prevent falling debris from hitting vehicles. So why has the budget declined so much? Well, LaHood says it is because the gas tax hasn’t been raised in 23 years, which supports various infrastructure projects.
Congress feels as though raising the gas tax isn’t a viable long-term solution to fix the bridge problems plaguing US infrastructure. Researchers at the University of Michigan are looking towards a more permanent solution. They have developed a bendable concrete that can withstand a force over 100 times more powerful than normal concrete. The bendable concrete, can also self-heal cracks with the help of air and water. The bendable concrete also hopes to help already decaying bridges like the 60,000 the US already has.
Living in the Tampa Bay Area, most people drive over bridges every week, sometimes every day. This begs the question how structurally sound are Florida’s bridges? According to a 2015 report by the Florida Department of Transportation, “95 percent of all FDOT-maintained bridges meet standards, exceeding FDOT’s target of 90 percent. Therefore, the vast majority of Florida bridges do not show evidence of structural deterioration nor are limited by weight restrictions.” What that means is that Florida’s bridges are generally more structurally sound than most other states, which is great news for drivers in the state.
What do you think is the solution to the bridge infrastructure issue in the United States? Should the federal government raise the budget? Where should the money come from? Or should we invest in other concrete-like material that can withstand more weathering and pressure?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to structurally unsound bridges, call attorney Mike Hancock for a free strategy session, 813-915-1110.