Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Midwest floods spotlight decrepit infrastructure

From Reuters:

The latest U.S. natural disaster is triggering fresh rounds of concern and debate about how to repair America's aging infrastructure....

...The disaster has reminded policymakers of the decrepit state of U.S. infrastructure, stirring concerns similar to those following the deadly Minneapolis bridge collapse in 2007 and the flooding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Even before the latest flooding, a group representing engineers said the United States needed to spend about $1 trillion more than it does now to bring infrastructure up to par with modern needs and standards.

"The patch-and-pray approach simply won't succeed," said David Mongan, head of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

But the group also said its five-year cost estimate was outdated and does not count the price of new roads, rails, and sewers required by a growing population, nor the cost to repair damage inflicted by the recent Midwest floods....MORE