The Dangers of America’s Aging Infrastructure

The 2007 Minneapolis bridge collapse on the city’s busy Interstate 35 shed much-needed light on the dangerous condition of America’s aging infrastructure. The collapse, which occurred during rush hour, killed 13 people and injured another 145. Despite the collapse, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) points out that the U.S. has done little to repair and rebuild the millions of bridges, roads, ports, dams, and levees that make up the nation’s infrastructure – much of which was built during the Works Progress Administration between 1933 and 1940. According to former New York City parks commissioner, Adrian Benepe, “Many of those structures are nearing the end of their useful lives.” U.S. Infrastructure Given a D+ Grade: Although nearly everyone in government, engineering, and construction agrees that the country’s infrastructure is faring poorly, no one seems to know how to solve what has become a massive problem. A 60 Minutes report pointed out that one in every nine bridges across the country – for a total of 70,000 bridges – is considered structurally deficient. Ray LaHood, the co-chairman of a bipartisan group committed to fixing the infrastructure problem, says the infrastructure in the U.S. is “on life support.”