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(Al Jazeera)   America will drive off a broken bridge if its crumbling infrastructure is not funded soon   (america.aljazeera.com) divider line 102
    More: Obvious, Highway Trust Fund, infrastructure, financing, public parks, United States, Earl Blumenauer, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Automobile Association  
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3339 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Jan 2014 at 5:08 PM (32 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-17 06:04:24 PM
I would respond that 13 people already did./i don't go over the new bridge, but I go under it frequently
 
2014-01-17 06:17:44 PM
Problem is the engineers and the architects are arguing over the blueprints, while the construction companies are providing with quality crap material.
 
2014-01-17 06:18:48 PM

demaL-demaL-yeH: technoblogical: Bill_Wick's_Friend: Has anyone considered making building bridges and repairing dams a military operation?

Cuz they're pretty well-funded and they have the manpower and nobody on either side of the aisle has a problem allocating a few more trillion dollars to the military budget.

Because that's not in the constitution?

The United States Army Corps of Engineers frowns on your shenanigan.

George Washington appointed the first engineer officers of the Army on June 16, 1775, during the American Revolution, and engineers have served in combat in all subsequent American wars. The Army established the Corps of Engineers as a separate, permanent branch on March 16, 1802, and gave the engineers responsibility for founding and operating the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Since then the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has responded to changing defense requirements and played an integral part in the development of the country. Throughout the 19th century, the Corps built coastal fortifications, surveyed roads and canals, eliminated navigational hazards, explored and mapped the Western frontier, and constructed buildings and monuments in the Nation's capital.

From the beginning, many politicians wanted the Corps to contribute to both military construction and works "of a civil nature." Throughout the 19th century, the Corps supervised the construction of coastal fortifications and mapped much of the American West with the Corps of Topographical Engineers, which enjoyed a separate existence for 25 years (1838-1863). The Corps of Engineers also constructed lighthouses, helped develop jetties and piers for harbors, and carefully mapped the navigation channels.

Oh, and  Article I, Section 8
...   for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings


Heheh, you said 'erection'.

/But there is a point
 
2014-01-17 06:20:11 PM
Come drive a 20 mile stretch of Rt 9 and 287 in NJ, then you might have a reason to biatch.
 
2014-01-17 06:20:37 PM

unlikely: Someone's going to have to start paying taxes


We're Number Onnnnnnnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeee <splash, gurgle>
 
2014-01-17 06:22:31 PM

Ravage: My uninformed opinion tells me it is the latter.  /Damn hippies and their EPA


Rule 23 from the Great Book of Consulting: the larger and more complex the regulation, the larger and more complex the bill we can send them

/any company that says that regulation is bad is simply a company that hasn't figured out yet how to exploit it
 
2014-01-17 06:25:31 PM

Shadow Blasko: Hell of justice?

Well .. Ok .. that works too I guess


That typo improved my mood immensely.

/I have no idea why I suddenly got in a bad mood when I got to the bar.
 
2014-01-17 06:27:08 PM
We might not make it to the bridge, the pot holes might knock a wheel off first........
 
2014-01-17 06:36:09 PM

snocone: Oldiron_79: JerkyMeat: Thanks GOPers. Farking vermin

Riiiiiight because the dimocrats who would rather spend the infrastructure monies on crack nubians on welfare are 100% blameless

Both of you trolls, and I mean that with all due respect, could expend your energies directing attention to the Dividers and Conquerers that are peddling the GOP?DFL Poison Kool-Aid.


Both sides are content to fiddle while Rome burns they just can't agree on the song
 
2014-01-17 06:36:57 PM
It is far more extensive than just transportation, roads and bridges. All systems are slowly disintegrating. Railroads, electric, gas, water, communication, sewage, and even drainage. Systems that aren't even physical are also deteriorating, political, educational, legal, justice, and governance.

We Americans live in the ruins of a once great civilization. There is no one left who knows how to build, operate, maintain, or manage any of these systems. All we can do is sit and watch as our grandparents' modern country crumbles into dust. The occasional bridge collapse or building explosion is just the punctuation of our obituary.
 
2014-01-17 06:41:27 PM

unlikely: Someone's going to have to start paying MORE taxes


FTFY.  Enough money is collected to pay for the roads and bridges.  Unfortunately, politicians get their greedy little hands on it and spend it on other shiat.  Now they'll whine about the lack of funds and say somthing about "it's going to take a community effort to restore our great American roads."  Somehow the community effort never includes the flithy rich.
 
2014-01-17 06:42:04 PM
Or if their GPS tells them to.
 
2014-01-17 06:45:09 PM

unlikely: Someone's going to have to start paying taxes


If we stopped giving the store away to GE, Xerox, Apple, Microsoft, and the Military Industrial Complex by making them pay at least a token amount we might just make it.
 
2014-01-17 06:54:20 PM
This varies from state to state and locality to locality. Here in Colorado, and especially metro Denver, we have chosen to tax ourselves to replace and upgrade our infrastructure. Billions in new roads, bridges and trains. Maybe relying solely on Fed dollars isn't the best plan.
 
2014-01-17 06:57:11 PM

ravenlore: I would respond that 13 people already did./i don't go over the new bridge, but I go under it frequently


farking mobile browser. did that to me a couple nights ago as well. I'm going to have to test Chrome mobile.
 
2014-01-17 07:02:54 PM

shootsright: "Sugar is good for you"
-Ad paid for by cane growers of America


Nah...it'd be more like. 

"Did you know sugar is a vital nutrient in your body? Without sugar your body would have no energy and you wouldn't be alive. While you shouldn't have too much sugar, and you should definitely stay away from man-made sugars like high fructose corn syrup, it's important to eat some natural sugar every day as part of a balanced diet. Remember, sugar is what fuels the human body. Fuel your body right, with natural sugar." -Ad paid for by the cane growers of America
 
2014-01-17 07:07:55 PM
Yea yea, America will be in rumble by Christmas.Hurry Hurry.
 
2014-01-17 07:36:10 PM

Ow! That was my feelings!: This varies from state to state and locality to locality. Here in Colorado, and especially metro Denver, we have chosen to tax ourselves to replace and upgrade our infrastructure. Billions in new roads, bridges and trains. Maybe relying solely on Fed dollars isn't the best plan.


We've tried that here in California.  The politicians spent the money on other shiat.  In fact, every time we allocated money for a specific purpose, they spent it on something else.  So then we pass a ballot measure Constitutional Amendment (state) that specifically allocates the money and can't be farked with by the politicians.  Unfortunately, that money is still allocated when its purpose no longer exists and also makes it impossible for any fiscal flexiblity.  We farked up our budget via this process to the point that we can't actually fix it.
 
2014-01-17 07:36:39 PM
jobless? collecting welfare? able bodied?
TO THE CHAIN GANGS WITH YOU!
 
2014-01-17 07:41:48 PM

Oldiron_79: snocone: Oldiron_79: JerkyMeat: Thanks GOPers. Farking vermin

Riiiiiight because the dimocrats who would rather spend the infrastructure monies on crack nubians on welfare are 100% blameless

Both of you trolls, and I mean that with all due respect, could expend your energies directing attention to the Dividers and Conquerers that are peddling the GOP?DFL Poison Kool-Aid.

Both sides are content to fiddle while Rome burns they just can't agree on the song


They've agreed on the band, the Dead Kennedys, but can't agree on the song (links P-NSFW).
Team (R) wants Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill the Poor (Tonight).
Team (D) wants Let's Lynch the Landlord.
 
2014-01-17 07:57:26 PM

demaL-demaL-yeH: Oldiron_79: snocone: Oldiron_79: JerkyMeat: Thanks GOPers. Farking vermin

Riiiiiight because the dimocrats who would rather spend the infrastructure monies on crack nubians on welfare are 100% blameless

Both of you trolls, and I mean that with all due respect, could expend your energies directing attention to the Dividers and Conquerers that are peddling the GOP?DFL Poison Kool-Aid.

Both sides are content to fiddle while Rome burns they just can't agree on the song

They've agreed on the band, the Dead Kennedys, but can't agree on the song (links P-NSFW).
Team (R) wants Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill the Poor (Tonight).
Team (D) wants Let's Lynch the Landlord.


Welcome to favorites
 
2014-01-17 07:59:51 PM

shootsright: "Sugar is good for you"
-Ad paid for by cane growers of America


You spelled high fructose corn syrup wrong.
 
2014-01-17 08:08:50 PM

unlikely: Someone's going to have to start paying taxes


Somebody's going to have to start showing results for the taxes that were already paid. I'm looking at you, state legislatures.

A lot of people figure that when they pay tolls and gas taxes the money goes into a fund that pays for infrastructure. In some states, that's what happens. In others...not so much. In those states, the money goes into the general fund. Whether it comes back out as infrastructure spending is a crapshoot, and depends a lot on your legislator's loyalty to the party bosses. If your representative is one of the rare ones with integrity, and does something that exposes the crooked backstabbing bastards in the state capitol for what they are, you can comfort yourself with this thought, because you sure as shiat aren't going to comfort yourself with a smooth ride on your local roads. Your district's roads ain't getting squat.

Exhibit A: California increased their gas tax last year. How much of the new tax money's going to infrastructure?

None of it.

TFA says Maryland, Vermont and Massachusetts are raising their gas taxes "to adequately fund maintenance of their roads and bridges."

Maryland legislators have regularly raided their infrastructure fund before, and in anticipation of taxpayers biatching about future raids they cynically wrote up a half-assed "lockbox" amendment that's not going to prevent future raids...so what makes you think they won't do it again?

Vermont? Same thing, far as I can tell. You'll have to take legislators' word for it that they won't raid the gas tax revenue. And maybe they won't since they're not as sleazy as most other state legislatures.

Massachusetts: Do we have to even ask?
 
2014-01-17 08:54:55 PM
Is AL JAZEERA looking for the demolition contracts???
 
2014-01-17 09:04:55 PM

uncleacid: Start a lottery where none of the money goes where it's suppose to.


Another one?
 
2014-01-17 09:19:48 PM

Johnny Swank: I put this solely on the farking Baby Boomers. Those leaches didn't put a dime back into infrastructure for decades, and now serve as the basis of the god damn teabaggers that fight tooth and nail against every single tax increase to pay for shiat. Frankly, the sooner they die off, the better.


Your assessment of the situation is interesting, but I get the feeling that you're not distinguishing between those Baby Boomers who support progressive taxation to fund infrastructure improvement  and those Baby Boomers who scream bloody murder at anything that doesn't rhyme with "cut taxes for rich people."  It is admirable that you ponder the issue of generational responsibility, but in honesty, the way you express yourself may be interpreted as the rantings of an irresponsible dick who's blaming others for "destroying" some sort of idealized world that never existed.  So ... you should consider working on that.
 
2014-01-17 09:42:24 PM

DrPainMD: Every couple of years they trot out a multi-hundred billion dollar infrastructure bill. What happened to all that money?


Committees and luncheons don't pay for themselves and they have to plan, they can't just throw money at the problem willy-nilly.
 
2014-01-17 09:47:55 PM
Nobody's driving off a broken bridge if they PO Governor Chris Christie.
 
2014-01-17 09:53:10 PM

technoblogical: Bill_Wick's_Friend: Has anyone considered making building bridges and repairing dams a military operation?

Cuz they're pretty well-funded and they have the manpower and nobody on either side of the aisle has a problem allocating a few more trillion dollars to the military budget.

Because that's not in the constitution?


The army corp of engineers is responsible for half the utility dams, levies and bridges in the US. Not that they should be responsible for maintaining them, but they would NEVER have seen the light of day without them.
 
2014-01-17 09:57:27 PM
No biggie, just build it, have it sit around for 60 years or so, whaddaya mean it needs maintenance?
 
2014-01-17 10:31:53 PM
It's only going to be acted upon when people start dying and major routes closing. Then it'll be a CRISIS and all hell will break loose and suddenly ACCOUNTABILITY will be required and much grandstanding will be done.
 
2014-01-17 11:13:11 PM

MyRandomName: cameroncrazy1984: netizencain: Wait, I thought that Obama fixed this?  DOT TIGER team signs up around my town.  Biden was in charge of the recovery.

Weirdly, we have way more than $300 million in infrastructure improvements that need to be done.

No kidding. 300 million barely covers planning efforts these days.


What would that pay for, a couple of studies?
 
2014-01-17 11:25:27 PM

Oldiron_79: Both sides are content to fiddle while Rome burns they just can't agree on the song


And if you believe that, I have a crumbling bridge in Minnesota to sell you.
 
2014-01-17 11:45:49 PM

shootsright: "Sugar is good for you"
-Ad paid for by cane growers of America


Very nice, very subtle. Agreed completely.
 
2014-01-18 12:03:01 AM

cameroncrazy1984: Oldiron_79: Both sides are content to fiddle while Rome burns they just can't agree on the song

And if you believe that, I have a crumbling bridge in Minnesota to sell you.


So a bridge collapses in the bluest of blue states where the dems have had the state legislature and made the state budgets since like forever but its the republicans' fault?
 
2014-01-18 12:13:45 AM

Oldiron_79: So a bridge collapses in the bluest of blue states where the dems have had the state legislature and made the state budgets since like forever but its the republicans' fault?


Yep, Dems love to scream infrastructure up until the point that they shoot it down.  Keystone pipeline anyone?

Infrastructure is a nice talking point for most, but talk is cheap.  You really want infrastructure? Listen to ASCE and not your party's talking points.
 
2014-01-18 12:15:40 AM

Jimmysolson: What would that pay for, a couple of studies?


It would line the pockets of quite a few environmental lawyers out here as they throw up NIMBY and Enviro type lawsuits in order to gum up the works as much as they can.
 
2014-01-18 12:39:52 AM

HeadLever: Jimmysolson: What would that pay for, a couple of studies?

It would line the pockets of quite a few environmental lawyers out here as they throw up NIMBY and Enviro type lawsuits in order to gum up the works as much as they can.


I'd guess, between the lawyers, the consultants and the in-laws on the payroll, that $300 mil wouldn't get much work done. Sad...
 
2014-01-18 12:55:03 AM

Jimmysolson: I'd guess, between the lawyers, the consultants and the in-laws on the payroll, that $300 mil wouldn't get much work done. Sad..


It depends upon the project, but 300 million is about a medium to large type project.  For a reality check, Colorado Springs is spending abut $1.4 Billion in order to alleviate their water issues by piping in water from Pueblo Reservoir.  The project came under litigation, but I am not sure if we will ever know what kind of costs were expended on lawyers here.
 
2014-01-18 01:15:29 AM

Cybernetic: JerkyMeat: Thanks GOPers. Farking vermin

Right. Because the GOP were the ones complaining that those "shovel-ready jobs" rebuilding our infrastructure would go disproportionately to "white male construction workers."

Oh, wait. That was Robert Reich. And NOW. And Feminist Majority. And a bunch of other hard-core lefties.

If you want to blame someone, blame your liberal friends. Because they're the ones actually at fault.


Oo! I have a better idea! Let's blame each other while the roads, bridges, dams and levees continue to fall apart! That would be even better!

WHO CARES whose fault it was/is? We need to fix it going forward, not argue why we got here, you dumb f*ckers.
 
2014-01-18 01:32:20 AM
okay end the war in Afghanistan, end or remake the unwinnable war on drugs.

then start a war we can win if we put the money and effort to do so, a war to rebuild and upgrade our infrastructure.

Eisenhower level efforts to repair and replace and improve our highway system.
a project to bring true high speed internet to the masses ( not satellite based).
massive refunding of our school and repairing or replacing old school buildings.
massive and concerted effort to develop a practical electric car for the masses.
massive program to move away from fossil fuels.
and for the luls a statue of liberty sized hand flipping the bird to Russia built in Alaska.

( the last one is not mandatory)
 
2014-01-18 01:43:32 AM
The headline describes one of my favorite details from the move "Idiocracy". Luke Wilson is in the doctors' office, having just realized the true date, and is staring out the window at the wreckage of a city. There's garbage heaped high, you can see a leaning skyscraper haphazardly roped to a nearby one, and in bottom center of the scene out the window, there's a broken overpass, like the highway equivelent of a waterfall, with a sizable pile of vehicles at the bottom, and as we see the scene another car goes flying off the edge, beautifully symbolizing a completely broken society, with residents utterly oblivious to the problems right under their noses, or car tires, if you will. That movie really was a prophesy of a much closer future that we think.
 
2014-01-18 02:18:57 AM

HeadLever: Oldiron_79: So a bridge collapses in the bluest of blue states where the dems have had the state legislature and made the state budgets since like forever but its the republicans' fault?

Yep, Dems love to scream infrastructure up until the point that they shoot it down. Keystone pipeline anyone?

Infrastructure is a nice talking point for most, but talk is cheap. You really want infrastructure? Listen to ASCE and not your party's talking points.


I was under the impression that the Keystone pipeline was to be funded by a coalition of private companies in the US and Canada.  But I could see making a case for a NASA-style organization that would be responsible for the US parts of the pipeline, working in concert with a similar government entity in Canada, paid for with a portion of revenue from all materials sent through the pipeline, with governmentI(s) employees distributing a portion of the gross revenue to the companies on either end.  I think it would have to be a goverment operation, given the oil companies' historic inability to follow safety and environmental standards.  Then there's all of the infrastructure to protect water supplies (which would be mandatory and would have to be in place before the pipeline went live), along with equipment and staffing to deal with emergency leaks caused by the building materials not being up to spec, since so many of those companies have also had a history of driving costs down at the expense of quality and safety.  Frankly, the only way I'd trust the building materials is if they came from public/private partnerships, as China will deliver any old crap, and the US manufacturers are at the tail end of decades of putting profits ahead of safety and quality.  So ... will that fly?  Have the US and Canadian companies expressed a willingness to work in partnership with a fully funded EPA, DOE, Interior, and allow full oversight of all manufacturing and construction activities by, say, the Army Corps of Engineers?  I would definitely support that, and it's refreshing to hear such rational proposals in today's "gummint is stupid" atmosphere.

Obviously, we'd have to exclude "bad" corporations such as BP, Exxon and Chevron.  Those companies could only participate if they were nationalized, as they have proven inept and/or criminal in the past.  I'm okay with this, as even lazy public servants are more trustworthy than companies who answer only to "shareholders" or, worse, are privately held.  That model -- trusting companies to do anything that serves the public good -- is obviously dead at this point, as they have squandered decades of chances to display any amount of integrity.

I'm struggling to figure out what kinds of organizations and plans they're making, since I'm a leery of the more or less socialistic aspect of this, but I could see having non-profit-driven government supervisors assessing all private company employees 100% of the time for this pipeline.  Obviously, we can't trust the companies themselves to take in revenue at the front end, as they are notoriously criminal in that regard, so we'd have to send the revenue through the government FIRST, and distribute additional revenue to the companies from whatever's left over.  I don't like the sound of that, but heck, the various companies involved have dug their own grave in this regard.

I'm amazed that the industry would go for this, and they'd be amazingly brave in this political climate, but if we're talking about a completely earnest and honest way of integrating public safety and stewardship over an industry that has virtually no integrity, it will probably work out well.  I'm assuming that the revenue from the tar sands has already been estimated to be positive when the legitimate costs of protecting life and the environment are added in, so as long as the numbers work out and the industry is finally at the point where they'll try anything, even acting with integrity, you've got my support.
 
2014-01-18 02:40:37 AM
Sorry; I hit "Add" instead of "Preview," but I want to thank you for suggesting all of this.  I'd been slightly against it because of the companies involved and the risks, but with the new insight that we'll have government oversight preventing companies from repeating past mistakes, I support it now, given that all parties involved are finally ready to act honorably and responsibly.  Even if they lose money for the first few years, it seems like a plausible way to improve our infrastructure while adding jobs, and it's admirable that all of these companies are willing to take on some of the financial risks.  It's nice to be communicating with someone who appreciates the good work that many civil servants do, as they tend to get a bad rap these days because of all the histrionics from the right.  So, bravo!  I'm on board with my understanding of how they're reforming the way this whole thing is going to be completed and managed.  I know I've done a lot of reading between the lines, but most of it was just logical extrapolations from the idea that they are truly trying to build an infrastructure that helps all Americans while maintaining an "enlightened" profit motive.
 
2014-01-18 03:50:15 AM
I'd LOVE to have zombie Eisenhower give a speech on how many miles of interstate highway and howmany new brick school buildings we could build with the money the NSA has spent illegally spying on us
 
2014-01-18 04:19:54 AM

Johnny Swank: I put this solely on the farking Baby Boomers. Those leaches didn't put a dime back into infrastructure for decades, and now serve as the basis of the god damn teabaggers that fight tooth and nail against every single tax increase to pay for shiat. Frankly, the sooner they die off, the better.


Speaking as a late boomer ('64), I have to agree.  All I ask is that you remember that it wasn't all of us.  It's just like in politics, even the reddest of the red states is 40% blue.
 
2014-01-18 04:23:01 AM

Old_Fark: It is far more extensive than just transportation, roads and bridges. All systems are slowly disintegrating. Railroads, electric, gas, water, communication, sewage, and even drainage. Systems that aren't even physical are also deteriorating, political, educational, legal, justice, and governance.

We Americans live in the ruins of a once great civilization. There is no one left who knows how to build, operate, maintain, or manage any of these systems. All we can do is sit and watch as our grandparents' modern country crumbles into dust. The occasional bridge collapse or building explosion is just the punctuation of our obituary.


We're just at the point where we're shifting over from a republic to an empire.  The little people no longer matter.  The rich should manage on our backs for a few more centuries.
 
2014-01-18 05:48:50 AM

Cranky McOldfart: Johnny Swank: I put this solely on the farking Baby Boomers. Those leaches didn't put a dime back into infrastructure for decades, and now serve as the basis of the god damn teabaggers that fight tooth and nail against every single tax increase to pay for shiat. Frankly, the sooner they die off, the better.

Speaking as a late boomer ('64), I have to agree.  All I ask is that you remember that it wasn't all of us.  It's just like in politics, even the reddest of the red states is 40% blue.


And vice versa
 
2014-01-18 08:27:42 AM

HeadLever: Yep, Dems love to scream infrastructure up until the point that they shoot it down.  Keystone pipeline anyone?


We're talking about infrastructure we need, such as highways, bridges, fiber optics, smart electrical generation. Not a pipeline designed to carry oil from Canada, over the largest underground reservoir in the country, to a port in Texas to be shipped overseas.
 
2014-01-18 08:29:32 AM
Since we are now a fear/war based country. Start another war and have opposing forces blow up our bridges.
Conquering country can rebuild them.
 
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