Why fixing America’s aging infrastructure should not be just about creating jobs

When a water main burst at a busy intersection in Sandy, Utah, on a sunny afternoon this fall, tons of asphalt crumbled, an enormous sinkhole appeared, traffic slammed to a halt, and water gushed onto neighboring lawns. The problem turned out to be an old pipe. The south Salt Lake County community knows the age and condition of over 95 percent of its pipes, says Shane Pace, director of public utilities and the city maintains a detailed replacement schedule. This pipe, lying between two younger lines and unmarked on maps, turned out to have been laid in the 1960s and was among those overdue for replacement.


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