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Author Topic: Hundreds of thousands of bridges across the country are in bad shape, but no infrastructure funding? Back to Topics
RNorm

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San Bernardino

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 7:26:33 AM

"Artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm took photos of structurally deficient bridges in his hometown of Pittsburgh to show what the problem really looks like. Severe rust, corrosion and structural defects may make you think twice about driving over structurally deficient bridges in your area"


What will it take before the House makes infrastructure funding a priority???
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MarkJames
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Nov 7, 2013 9:41:11 AM

In the regions where I pay the highest property tax rates, I've had to plow, sand and salt my own streets, fill my own potholes, repair buckling sidewalks, repair my water/sewer connections, repair damaged, missing, plugged storm drains and culverts, repair/replace missing street signs, repair, replace, or install street lights, provide my own winter sand barrels... too much to list.

In one city they dug up a rotted/collapsed culvert pipe that passed under a road, then blocked off the giant trench with temporary barriers - cones and barrels. They left it like that for weeks until someone fell into the trench and sued them.

I could have done the job start to finish in 1 day by myself with my equipment and labor, yet a large crew of city workers standing around doing little, or nothing spent weeks on the job on and off - then had to dig up and redo the original repair due to incompetence.

Most of the tax levy in many regions is eaten up by unfunded state Mandates - Medicaid being the largest, plus spending is out of control and performance of city and county workers is poor.

Many repairs are patchwork and only reactionary to lawsuits, or potential lawsuits.
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Cirdan
Champion Author Nevada

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Message Posted: Nov 7, 2013 12:54:03 AM

California's going to spend >$100B to move shepherds from Modesto to Merced. There's infrastructure for you - moving people between two towns no one wants to live in.
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streetrider
Champion Author Gary

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 10:00:47 PM

A couple years ago I was driving through a major city at 2am to take advantage of lighter traffic. On this highway that is 4 lanes in each direction an accident occurred in the direction I was going.
Accidents do happen less with better signage and markings.

The accident was up ahead out of sight.

As far as I could see ahead of me was a sea of red tail lights. Behind me 4 lanes wide was a sea of headlights. As I looked around the majority of cars were expensive cars and SUV's.

When one thinks of all the taxes attached to those autos it was like the road was paved with dollar bills and it makes one wonder how the HELL do we have such an antiquated highway system with all the taxes collected.

lets name a few, sales tax on the car, license plates fees, registration fees, taxes on ownership, gas taxes in spades, federal gas tax, excise taxes , transportation taxes, state sales taxes wheel taxes.
It just amazes we are not world leaders in a proper high tech highway system.
A system that allows the modern technology built into our cars to be utilized, and geared towards getting the through put in traffic flow while making the system energy efficient.
Just baffling what we pay for and what we get.
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mnrick041
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 8:57:27 PM

They need to take some of the money that is wasted in so many other areas and use it to fix our bridges.

Here in the Minneapolis area they are planning a project known as the South West Light Rail Train or SWLRT. It would run from Minneapolis into the SW suburbs, have 17 stops and a current estimated price tag of $1.56 Billion.

That is just one thing off the top of my head but if you took the money from every wasteful project across the country and put it into infrastructure we would not be talking about structurally deficient bridges.

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mudtoe
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 6:29:40 PM

RN: "I'm saying money allocated for roads and bridges should be used for that purpose and only that purpose and not moved to other funds for other pet projects."


Good! I'm glad you agree that the gas tax money shouldn't be used to subsidize mass transit.


mudtoe
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RNorm
Champion Author San Bernardino

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 4:34:05 PM

"So you are saying that road fund money shouldn't be used for roads because someone might steal it, and therefore it should go to mass transit instead? Is that it?"


Nope.

I'm saying money allocated for roads and bridges should be used for that purpose and only that purpose and not moved to other funds for other pet projects. And I'm also saying that increased fares to upkeep rails and signal switches at junctions that use them should be used for that and not increases board member salaries, pet project and other such nonsense that has nothing to do with mass transit and its use.
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EZExit
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 4:29:18 PM

Mudtoe: <<<"So you are saying that road fund money shouldn't be used for roads because someone might steal it, and therefore it should go to mass transit instead? Is that it?">>>

--I think the message is that the money that is collected from multiple revenue streams to finance mass transit as well as road & bridge repairs is utilized to build and operate stuff like sports stadiums for professional team owners, so the conservative majority of the US house of representatives should write blanks checks on the backs of future taxpayers to compensate. We all know the US government is wise, its pockets bottomless, and its generosity for the "greater good" knows no ends. We could easily pass a 15 trillion ObamaStructure© bill to bankroll nationwide infrastructure spending, all it takes is some signatures on some papers, and we can get it started on it right away!
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mudtoe
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 3:14:42 PM

So you are saying that road fund money shouldn't be used for roads because someone might steal it, and therefore it should go to mass transit instead? Is that it?


mudtoe
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RNorm
Champion Author San Bernardino

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 3:09:21 PM

"What does that have to do with road fund money being siphoned off to pay for mass transit?"


Um, you said:

""Let the people using mass transit fund it themselves through fares that reflect the true cost to provide the service, just like the drivers are funding the roads. Then there might be enough to fix all the bridges""

And in response I said:

"Only problem with that is that you get these board members who use the funds for pet projects and never for the intended purpose of road repairs..."

Speaking of the revenues from the increased fares (which I pay to commute) that seem to go towards everything BUT keeping the rails and roads safe...we have too many accidents, injuries and deaths from broken signal switches and the like along the route I take to work.
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mudtoe
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 2:52:07 PM

RN: "Only problem with that is that you get these board members who use the funds for pet projects and never for the intended purpose of road repairs... "


What does that have to do with road fund money being siphoned off to pay for mass transit?


mudtoe
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RNorm
Champion Author San Bernardino

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 2:02:43 PM

"Let the people using mass transit fund it themselves through fares that reflect the true cost to provide the service, just like the drivers are funding the roads. Then there might be enough to fix all the bridges"


Only problem with that is that you get these board members who use the funds for pet projects and never for the intended purpose of road repairs...
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mudtoe
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 1:59:49 PM

Maybe we should stop using some of the money drivers pay in gas taxes to subsidize mass transit. Let the people using mass transit fund it themselves through fares that reflect the true cost to provide the service, just like the drivers are funding the roads. Then there might be enough to fix all the bridges.


mudtoe
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I75at7AM
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 1:02:27 PM

Congress passed the ARRA (American Reinvestment and Recovery Act) in 2009, the largest single spending bill ever passed by a U.S. Congress.

Four years later, we hear of these problems.

Meanwhile, the federal gasoline tax (rate) hasn't been increased in eighteen years, and all the money it raises is earmarked for highways and bridges*

*except for the portion Congress has stripped away to fund boondoggle mass-transit programs that can't earn their own keep

Congress needs to wisely decide how to spend the public's money.

Bridges? Roads?
Direct entitlement payments to individuals? (I hesitate to use "citizen" because we all know that not only citizens are the recipients of EITC payments)

Maybe we can finance the rebuilding by issuing bonds. Pay interest for thirty years and then expect the next generation to foot the bill and pay the principle.
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modeshoo825
Champion Author Connecticut

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 12:53:55 PM

"Maybe you should ask Rick Perry who used stimulus money, to balance Texas' budget?"

Some of that stimulus money was funded by Texas taxpayers - Texas pays $1.31 for every $1 of federal funding it receives vs. $1.20 : $1.00 in California.

Apparently, Perry used it for its intended purpose, to fix bridges and roads. According to the graph in the OP, less than 7% of the bridges in Texas are structurally deficient vs. more than 12% in California.

[Edited by: modeshoo825 at 11/6/2013 12:54:57 PM EST]
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 12:40:48 PM

Seems like by now we probably have enough weapons to fight wars with every other nation simultaneously. Couldn't we just lay off building new ones for a few years while we fix some bridges? It's not like guns go bad.
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teacher_tim
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 12:09:11 PM

"I guarantee you, when one of the Bridges fail, then the 1st thing conservatives will do is blame Obama... "
who will claim no knowledge of bridges whatsoever, having seen it on the news like everyone else. Then Obama will blame Bush for the inherited bridge problem.

But, hey, all those jobs were "shovel-ready" in 2009.
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RNorm
Champion Author San Bernardino

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 12:07:10 PM

"Why don't we slahs military spending by, oh, say 90% (which would still leave us spending more than anybody else) and take care of some of our own stuff?"


Um, 90% might be a bit steep...but we could stop housing troops all over the planet and let other countries take care of THEIR OWN security and stop being the world's policeman...
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RNorm
Champion Author San Bernardino

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 12:05:58 PM

I guarantee you, when one of the Bridges fail, then the 1st thing conservatives will do is blame Obama...
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AFSNCO
Champion Author Montgomery

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 12:00:17 PM

"Just where did all that Obama stimulus money go? Wasn't it supposed to go to "shovel ready" infrastructure projects, like bridges, or did it end up in the pockets of Obama's friends and donors?"

It when to shovel ready green energy projects. Basically what it meant was that they were ready to have a hole dug and then have dirt shoveled on top of them. That is exactly what happened...they took the money and closed their doors running away with our tax dollars. Yeah for green energy!
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EZExit
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 11:55:06 AM

States charge gas taxes, tolls, registration, and for permits in order to finance the maintenance of roads and bridges. Now when state and local government raid the coffers and skim the money intended for these projects, deficiencies will occur. Instead of making repairs to infrastructure, they'll have plenty of cash to build a new stadium for the Pittsburgh Steelers or Pittsburgh Pirates to play in, and whine later that they are lugging around a busted budget. :::shrug:::

What will it take for government to begin to manage taxpayer money responsibly?
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 11:54:45 AM

Why don't we slahs military spending by, oh, say 90% (which would still leave us spending more than anybody else) and take care of some of our own stuff?

Or does that, like, make too much sense or something?
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SemiSteve
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 11:52:04 AM

The stimulus had two projects around Tampa that I can see. One confirmed, the other is suspected by myself as being stimulus money.

One is the 'Port Connector'. Tampa is a major shipping port. Ships load and unload cargo here. But all the roads leading to the port were normal city streets. There was no direct access to the interstate. So the city was constantly repairing the roads and traffic was constantly snarled. The stimulus improvement was to create an interstate spur to get the trucks on their way and out of city traffic, off the city streets. Construction is still under way.

The other I am guessing on. Just north of town there was a perfectly good rest area off the interstate. Just after all the stimulus brew-ha-ha, construction began there. They tore down a perfectly good and serviceable rest area and put up a perfectly good and servicable rest area. The new one is bigger and fancier. I don't get it. There was nothing wrong with the old one. I don' tknow why people need 50 foot ceilings to go to the bathroom. Smokers still smoke in the non-smoking area and there is no enforcement. People still spit out their gum and make those black spots on the new concrete. And there are more workers to take care of it all.

I would have rather seen some new bridges replace some old ones.

[Edited by: SemiSteve at 11/6/2013 11:52:49 AM EST]
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RNorm
Champion Author San Bernardino

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 11:46:05 AM

"Wasn't it supposed to go to "shovel ready" infrastructure projects, like bridges, or did it end up in the pockets of Obama's friends and donors?"


Maybe you should ask Rick Perry who used stimulus money to balance Texas' budget?
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mudtoe
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 11:33:37 AM

Just where did all that Obama stimulus money go? Wasn't it supposed to go to "shovel ready" infrastructure projects, like bridges, or did it end up in the pockets of Obama's friends and donors?


mudtoe
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streetrider
Champion Author Gary

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 8:12:55 AM

Our politicians are to busy fixing infrastructure in other countries.
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reb4
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Nov 6, 2013 7:59:55 AM

North Avenue Bridge (on list of Bridges on original posters link)...

I actually have 3 pictures on my phone that I took when I was waiting for the bridge to lower (took a lot longer than the video unfortunately).

I personally believe that we should work on a budget and set the prioritys of the nation on the table and live within our means.

I would hope that the leaders of our country would do that... That is what they are supposed to be doing...
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