Last Updated 25 May 2020

Aging U.S. Infrastructure

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This paper talks about the United States of America and the state of its infrastructure which is aging now these days. Its infrastructure has been in a deplorable state, however much has not being done about it, except when for instance a road accident takes place or some citizen goes through the tragic experience caused by the suffering of the infrastructure, that the relevant Governmental units and committees decide to take action by formulating a plan.

The paper has been divided into the various different segments the U.S. Infrastructure has and functions as.

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U.S. is a country which is far ahead in terms of economic and political prosperity. However a basis fact still remains that despite the vast differences that exist within it, it works as one single unit working towards prosperity and the American Dream.

The Government spends and has always been spending a lot on its public expenditures and infrastructure. Today, when we see the state of this physical infrastructure we see gaps and loopholes in terms of physical state of these things.

The naked eye however still cannot pin point towards a particular infrastructure unit and comment on its ‘deplorable state’, however research and the technician’s/ engineer’s eye can.

The only area where the ASCE team saw improvement in the last four years from the Report dated 2005 was energy. The report said this area got a grade of D plus after a consistent D. Another area getting an improvement card was the flood protection system which received a D minus from an Un-graded grade.

Much of the state that U.S. levees are in was and is unknown to the Committee. The new president also announced this week that an $825 billion package needs to be and will be spent on improvements in U.S. highways, bridges and rail projects along with expansion projects at airports. (BBC News)

The different segments or divisions in its infrastructure are as follows:

·         Roads

·         Bridges

o   Traffic Congestion

·         Broadband

·         Aviation

·         Brown-fields

·         Dams and Levees

·         Drinking Water and Waste Water

·         Inland Waterways

·         Energy

·         Rails

·         Schools

·         Security

·         Wastewater

Roads and Bridges

The state of America’s infrastructure has not improved in the last four years. This has been a report by the country’s top civil engineers. According to them US has received a Grade D in terms of its roads, public transports and basic transits.

It, in the report called ‘Report Card’, from the American Society of Civil Engineers also claimed that around $2.2 trillion need to be spent for proper repairs to this section of infrastructure. A news item also claimed of a bridge getting destroyed by collapsed in Minnesota in 2007 leading to loss of lives, injuries, property, reputation as well as money. (BBC News)

When the bridge at Minnesota collapsed due to poor infrastructure state, it became evident back then in 2007 how appalling the condition of U.S. infrastructure is getting year after year. Poor roads have caused many people driving in cars and motorbikes their lives and injury traumas, and the Government $54 billion each year, especially in the year 2005.

Annually, around $59.4 billion is spent on infrastructure pertaining to roads, bridges, airfields, brown fields, drinking water and wastewater; and waterways also.

A lot many NHS or the National Highway system is an appalling state of affair as insufficient funds have been dedicated to this and more needs to be done without any further delay.

Currently, around $ 32.1 billion needs to be spent on this NHS which consists of only 4.1 percent of all highways roads in America (however around a little less than half of all motorists are carried to and fro by the NHS, despite its minute percentage of the total. It is being said that congestion is the cause that ages these bridges, highways and roads even more fast since a lot is being in use by the motorists.

US $ 70 billion of funds that are attributed to highways and bridges has to get doubled, so that this doubled figure can be put to appropriate use as said by the Federal Highway Administration.

It also says that till 2015, or six years from now total investments needs to rise to double of what it is only to ‘maintain’ the current state all these things pertaining to transit and transport they are in. So, without a doubt, much more than the doubled figure needs to be spent so that improvements only if by a slight ratio are and can be seen. Logistics management and NAM have announced their dedication to this area. (White, F.)

On the other hand, another report by the US Texas Transportation Institute has proclaimed that the major issue is congestion that when coupled with aging infrastructure leads to a faster decline towards collapse, or voluntary destruction. (Berman, J.)

US bridges’ condition is also being said by US DOT, has decreased in conditions by a double figure. This is how fast things have been deteriorating. (Let’s Re-build America)

Every year around a lot of time amounting to 4.2 billion hours is wasted in traffic congestion, costing the US economy $78.2 billion. It also costs $67 billion to these motorists for repairing and operating costs. Also, around 15000 lives of American citizens are lost due to traffic and road related incidents.

A little less than half of all urban highways and bridges are congested and it is said that for a substantial improvement, $186 billion will need to be allocated and spent. (Report Card for America’s Infrastructure)

One-fourth of the total US bridges in America face either of the two problems; one, their structure is lacking and deficient or second, that they cannot function at all. This huge 26% is proof enough to say that bridges especially in urban areas are declining rapidly.

$17 billion according to the ASCE needs to be spent on this area every year to induce betterment in this infrastructure division of US. As of now $10.5 billion only is spent on the construction of new and repair of old bridges in USA, which is a figure too low. (Report Card for America’s Infrastructure)

Aging U.S. Infrastructure essay

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