Early in the Trump Administration, the go-to distraction when some plan had gone awry was to announce that next week was “Infrastructure Week,” when experts and stakeholders would come together at the White House and apply their collective brainpower to the problem of America’s crumbling infrastructure. Several of these have been scheduled, but they all seem to get swept away by some Trumpian crisis or the other, and our net progress on national infrastructure reconstruction since the beginning of the Trump presidency is about zipperino.
That’s not necessarily bad, you say — “if Trump isn’t working on infrastructure, at least he’s not screwing it up.”
Unfortunately that’s not a sustainable position. The state of our roads, bridges, airports, water systems, power grids — all of those vast societal investments that make hi-tech, interconnected, ubiquitously powered and wired modern life possible — is dire.
Have a look at this list of things that are falling apart, circa 2017:
#1 According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, nearly 56,000 bridges in the United States are currently “structurally deficient”. What makes that number even more chilling is the fact that vehicles cross those bridges a total of 185 million times a day.
#2 More than one out of every four bridges in the United States is more than 50 years old and “have never had major reconstruction work”.
#3 America does not have a single airport that is considered to be in the top 25 in the world.
#4 The average age of America’s dams is now 52 years.
#5 Not too long ago, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the condition of America’s dams a “D” grade.
#6 Overall, the American Society of Civil Engineers said that the condition of America’s infrastructure as a whole only gets a “D+” grade.
#7 Congestion on our highways costs Americans approximately 101 billion dollars a year in wasted fuel and time.
#8 According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, over two-thirds of our roads are “in dire need of repair or upgrades”.
#9 In order to completely fix all of our roads and bridges, it would take approximately 808 billion dollars.
#10 Federal spending on infrastructure has decreased by 9 percent over the past decade.
This is just a portion of what is not getting done during the Trump Administration because we’re too busy dealing with an out of control executive with who’s too busy honing his message of racism and hate to bother dealing with some “potholes.”