“Bridges represent more than just their physical structures – they connect people and communities and make it easier to go about our daily lives,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Seriously, who thought they were just built because they look cool? Nobody?
I know my commute to the office would be very difficult without them. Thank goodness we are actually going to have an historic investment in this essential infrastructure.
As reported in The Trucker, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced $12.5 billion in funding over the next five years. This is the largest investment since the creation of the interstate highway system.
The problem is so big and has been going on for so long that the initial $2.4 billion that is available right now will fund only 23 projects. And, none of those will actually repair or build a bridge. From Kodiak Island in Alaska to Clarke County, Georgia the monies are being allocated to implement feasibility studies for repair or replacement.
This is going to take years. A study by American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) states that 43,578 structurally deficient U.S. bridges support 167.5 million crossings per day.
West Virginia tops the list with the highest percentage of deficient bridges, while the nation has 224,000 bridges in need of repair. One in three bridges needs repair or replacement, according to the study, and at the current rate of repair, it will take 30 years to complete.
Just in time to start over.
Here is another sobering statistic. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates, the total cost to repair or replace the structurally deficient bridges is over $58 billion. That is not all 224,000 bridges. It is the 43,578 that have been deemed structurally deficient.
I think “structurally deficient” is lawyer-speak to say (but not get sued) they are unsafe for travel.
Never fear! The solution is here! Science Focus points out the obvious answer. Blimps!
No need for bridges! Think about it. Flying cars and blimp freighters! Sweet!
And, if you like being duped into thinking the future is greener, the helium keeps the blimp in the air so there is a huge reduction in the burning of fossil fuels to operate.
Of course, there is the fact that the main source of helium is oil refining. No, no, no, hydrogen is not the answer. We tried it.
Also, it isn’t green.
Peace and love.