The transportation infrastructure crisis has not abated even as the economy recovers. To date, at least 8,000 bridges across the country are deemed “structurally deficient” and “fracture critical”. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that road and bridge repairs now cost $20.5 billion a year. However, partisan bickering has stalled federal legislation that would address the issue. Unsurprisingly, people are not enthused about the lack of political progress on the issue. However, a representative of the American Society of Civil Engineers cautions against taking the issue out of context, since the number of structurally deficient bridges is actually declining thanks mostly to state and local efforts. ASCE regularly publishes its Report Card on America’s Infrastructure, which currently grades bridges as C+.
As said, state and local governments are increasingly taking the initiative to rebuild its own infrastructure. Los Angeles is no exception, as the city considers asking voters to approve a $3 billion road repair bond for the November 2014 ballot. The measure’s single biggest obstacle, however, is to gain the trust of voters who are weary of tax increases and already wonder why there is not enough money to repair roads right now. The LA City Council voted recently to merely continue studying the bond measure and its implications.