Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the Minneapolis Interstate 35W bridge collapse that resulted in 13 fatalities (see our August 3, 2007, posting). A year on, a new report by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) outlines the difficult challenges that lie ahead in maintaining, repairing, and replacing the nationâ€™s bridges. Age, deterioration, soaring construction costs, and increasing traffic congestion were cited by the AASHTO as some of the major bridge problems facing the U.S. The report notes that the average bridge in the U.S. today is 43 and almost 20 percent of these â€œBaby Boomerâ€ bridges are now over 50 years old. It puts the price tag to repair or modernize the countryâ€™s 600,000 bridges at $140 billion. The report calls for increased investment in transportation at all levels of government; support for revenue options such as tolls, tax increases, annual road user fees; and a continued commitment to research, innovation and technology. What do you thinkÂ of theseÂ proposed solutions?