Monday, August 6, 2007

Crumbling or not, these bridges are ours

When tragedy happens, the public reacts – usually with support, concern and aid. Human compassion has been strong in the aftermath of the bridge collapse in Minneapolis.

Politicians and officials were among those who acted quickly, calling for investigations, widespread bridge inspections and to allocate funds to the rebuilding and relief effort.

While a noble gesture, their actions have shed more light on an important problem. What happens when – not if – the inspectors find more deficient bridges?

Wait a minute. They already have – more than 73,000 of them.

I’m afraid we may be heading for a crisis of “too little, too late” with the nation’s infrastructure.

Good roads and bridges are taxpayer investments, and taxpayers have certainly been paying. So where has our money gone?

The government – including the politicians who acted in the aftermath in Minnesota – need to bear down and preserve these investments. We demand it.

And nobody wants to pay more than our fair share or see our infrastructure sold off to private investors. The roads and bridges are ours, crumbling or not.