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(USA Today)   Nearly 56,000 bridges called structurally deficient. Have a safe trip home, and would you mind looking at the road as you drive instead of reading this damn headline   ( usatoday.com) divider line
    More: Scary, U.S. state, deficient bridges, highway trust fund, Elaine Chao, department scores bridges, Names of large numbers, bridge construction group, Native Americans in the United States  
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3257 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Feb 2017 at 9:10 PM (22 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-02-16 08:14:21 PM  
Finally an issue both parties are at fault for, no politician wants to rebuild infrastructure they want grandiose ribbon cuttings. Most of the public is too stupid to know that bridge needs to be rebuilt they just see inconvenience of the construction zone and say "it was fine when I drove over it last month."

This has been ignored for far too long.
 
2017-02-16 08:36:25 PM  
s2.quickmeme.com
/Bridges
 
2017-02-16 09:07:26 PM  
This is a fine world you boomers are leaving for the rest of us.
 
2017-02-16 09:13:16 PM  
They just fixed all but one (small) bridge between me and work, thanks Obama!  FU Republicans!
 
2017-02-16 09:15:40 PM  
Old news is old.
 
2017-02-16 09:16:49 PM  
Whole lotta red states look retarded and their sheit's all farked up.
Kommiefornia doesn't seem to be doing too bad even after spending 55 billion on illegal immigrants. Funny how that worked out, Republitards!

/how am I doing?
 
2017-02-16 09:30:13 PM  
What, no slideshow?
 
2017-02-16 09:30:20 PM  
CDOT (Colorado DOT) seems to be pretty good at upkeep. Then again, if something catastrophic happens on I-70 it'll hurt the state's economy pretty well.

I-70 is quite the feat of engineering, especially through Glenwood Canyon:

img.fark.net

img.fark.net

Just watch out for rocks and boulders from above.
 
2017-02-16 09:31:40 PM  

kittyhas1000legs: CDOT (Colorado DOT) seems to be pretty good at upkeep. Then again, if something catastrophic happens on I-70 it'll hurt the state's economy pretty well.

I-70 is quite the feat of engineering, especially through Glenwood Canyon:

[img.fark.net image 439x292]

[img.fark.net image 850x478]

Just watch out for rocks and boulders from above.


Huh. I've never seen that before. Nice.

Thanks for sharing.
 
2017-02-16 09:33:07 PM  
Will someone PLEASE wake up Eisenhower, oh yeah, will someone PLAESE get a Voodoo Priest to wake up Eisenhower. He'll at least be far better than what we have.
 
2017-02-16 09:33:34 PM  
"The American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) list of 55,710 deficient bridges"

The real issue here is why the American Road and Transportation Builders Association built structurally deficient bridges in the first place. What are THEY going to do about it?
 
2017-02-16 09:38:32 PM  
If elected President, it would be my plan to push policy to tax large corporations [As defined by an annual profit margin of over 1 million USD, and articles of incorporation on file.] that rely on truck-based shipping for their profit margins [Fed Ex, UPS, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, Sears, Macys, Swift, Con-Way, so on and so forth.] with that money specifically marked to maintain interstate highways, and bridges specifically in the interstate highway network, and establish funding to build at least two major arteries of high speed rail, Los Angeles to New York, and Houston to Chicago.

I would also push policy to tax media networks, such as cable broadcast, internet service providers, telecommunications companies and again, large corporations that rely on internet communication for media streaming to begin the huge task of upgrading our internet infrastructure.

Oh and health care? How about taxing the profits of pharmaceutical corporations, and any hospital with 500k or more in profit annually, with those funds going specifically to universal preventative and catastrophic emergency care? I mean, yeah, it sucks for people who get cancer, but at least you can go get a check up, or get someone to stop the bleeding, right?

... Yeah. Vote for me. It'll never happen, but boy, wouldn't it just make the news a little more interesting to hear an actual plan for a change? [Granted, a pretty insane plan that would piss a lot of people off, divide congress totally, and goes against the almighty theory of trickle down economics...]
 
2017-02-16 09:41:16 PM  
picayune.uclick.com
 
2017-02-16 09:44:39 PM  

Resident Muslim: kittyhas1000legs: CDOT (Colorado DOT) seems to be pretty good at upkeep. Then again, if something catastrophic happens on I-70 it'll hurt the state's economy pretty well.

I-70 is quite the feat of engineering, especially through Glenwood Canyon:

[img.fark.net image 439x292]

[img.fark.net image 850x478]

Just watch out for rocks and boulders from above.

Huh. I've never seen that before. Nice.

Thanks for sharing.


My mother's a retired hydrogeologist and her husband is a civil engineer. They both LOVE the canyon. There's also a walking/bike trail that goes through the whole canyon which gives you some nice views.
 
2017-02-16 09:45:54 PM  

Percise1: Whole lotta red states look retarded and their sheit's all farked up.
Kommiefornia doesn't seem to be doing too bad even after spending 55 billion on illegal immigrants. Funny how that worked out, Republitards!

/how am I doing?


While you're right overall, now is not the best time to laud California's infrastructure.
 
2017-02-16 09:47:21 PM  
Necessary infrastructure repair, or as it was derided and done away with in Congress, pork.
 
2017-02-16 09:57:35 PM  
I like round numbers, so I don't think we should do anything until we reach 100,000
 
2017-02-16 10:08:00 PM  

Tom_Slick: Finally an issue both parties are at fault for, no politician wants to rebuild infrastructure they want grandiose ribbon cuttings. Most of the public is too stupid to know that bridge needs to be rebuilt they just see inconvenience of the construction zone and say "it was fine when I drove over it last month."

This has been ignored for far too long.

Sometimes the bridge is falling apart before the ribbon cutting, Please see the Bay Bridge in CA.

sure they say it is fine now, but the steel is compromised, way before the expected life time (literally negative years of use before water was getting in).
 
2017-02-16 10:08:05 PM  
Obviously now is the time to build a giant wall.

That will last forever. Right?
 
2017-02-16 10:08:20 PM  
1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2017-02-16 10:13:53 PM  

Notabunny: I like round numbers, so I don't think we should do anything until we reach 100,000


But there's an odd number of zeroes, so make it a 1,000,000.
 
2017-02-16 10:21:17 PM  

W_Scarlet: If elected President, it would be my plan to push policy to tax large corporations [As defined by an annual profit margin of over 1 million USD, and articles of incorporation on file.] that rely on truck-based shipping for their profit margins [Fed Ex, UPS, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, Sears, Macys, Swift, Con-Way, so on and so forth.] with that money specifically marked to maintain interstate highways, and bridges specifically in the interstate highway network, and establish funding to build at least two major arteries of high speed rail, Los Angeles to New York, and Houston to Chicago.

I would also push policy to tax media networks, such as cable broadcast, internet service providers, telecommunications companies and again, large corporations that rely on internet communication for media streaming to begin the huge task of upgrading our internet infrastructure.

Oh and health care? How about taxing the profits of pharmaceutical corporations, and any hospital with 500k or more in profit annually, with those funds going specifically to universal preventative and catastrophic emergency care? I mean, yeah, it sucks for people who get cancer, but at least you can go get a check up, or get someone to stop the bleeding, right?

... Yeah. Vote for me. It'll never happen, but boy, wouldn't it just make the news a little more interesting to hear an actual plan for a change? [Granted, a pretty insane plan that would piss a lot of people off, divide congress totally, and goes against the almighty theory of trickle down economics...]


You're going to tax Taylor Swift extra?  Well you can Fark right off.  No vote for you!
 
2017-02-16 10:26:31 PM  
Pfft, fake news story from a fake news agency.  Our bridges are safe.  It is all the illegal immigrants who are unsafe, with all their drugs and gangs and rapists.  That is why we have to build a wall, to keep them out, and to keep them off of our bridges!
 
2017-02-16 10:27:14 PM  
What does deficient mean? No longer matching design? Or design no longer current code? We might be looking at the same shenanigans that put half of America on cholesterol and/or blood pressure meds, change the standards until there's something to sell.
 
2017-02-16 10:28:04 PM  

Dafatone: Necessary infrastructure repair, or as it was derided and done away with in Congress, pork.


That can't be right. There's no Robert Byrd Memorial Road Maintenance Fund, is there?
 
2017-02-16 10:38:02 PM  
I'm not optimistic. Even in the future, we'll have structurally deficient bridges:

img.fark.net
 
2017-02-16 10:48:35 PM  
We're almost there.

img.fark.net
 
2017-02-16 10:54:50 PM  
the gas tax that primarily funds the highway trust fund hasn't kept pace with construction priorities as cars become more efficient.

.
How long until they finally put a fork in that antiquated funding mechanism?

Charge so many cents per mile with GPS monitoring and automatic withdrawal from a users account, or for the GPS phobic, charge them a flat fee that exceeds the number of miles that they'd likely drive in a year.

Everyone should pay their fair share.
 
2017-02-16 11:00:35 PM  

sex_and_drugs_for_ian: the gas tax that primarily funds the highway trust fund hasn't kept pace with construction priorities as cars become more efficient.


Hasn't kept up with inflation either.  They're flat cents per gallon rather than a percentage per gallon.
 
2017-02-16 11:09:18 PM  
I'm sure many will recall that bridge story from a few days ago.  The bridge with all that ugly patch repair.  Well subby, how are we to notice bridges like that, when a lot of our roads look like that?  We just get used to it.
 
2017-02-16 11:09:29 PM  

Archie Goodwin: Notabunny: I like round numbers, so I don't think we should do anything until we reach 100,000

But there's an odd number of zeroes, so make it a 1,000,000.


But we need to show it's liberal, so move it over to the left.
10,000,000
 
2017-02-16 11:18:46 PM  
img.fark.net

I drove across that POS about 4 hours before it fell in the river.
 
2017-02-16 11:41:07 PM  

sex_and_drugs_for_ian: I drove across that POS about 4 hours before it fell in the river.


Yeah, but it's not sexy.  Bridges, sewers, and the like play second fiddle to the children.  In MN, 50% of the General Fund already goes to education, but they just ask for more each year.  Bridges falling, roads crumbling, but the schools need more money as their test scores decline even with the added money.

A lot of the money collected under the guise of "usage fees" (gas tax) for roads was simply diverted to the General Fund, which went to everything BUT roads..
 
2017-02-16 11:48:11 PM  

a4dzac: sex_and_drugs_for_ian: I drove across that POS about 4 hours before it fell in the river.

Yeah, but it's not sexy.  Bridges, sewers, and the like play second fiddle to the children.  In MN, 50% of the General Fund already goes to education, but they just ask for more each year.  Bridges falling, roads crumbling, but the schools need more money as their test scores decline even with the added money.

A lot of the money collected under the guise of "usage fees" (gas tax) for roads was simply diverted to the General Fund, which went to everything BUT roads..


Not to mention a billion dollars spent for an 11 mile train to replace a perfectly adequate bus line.

/ to be fair, that bridge was junk when it was new in '65
 
2017-02-17 12:01:38 AM  
Hmmm. I wonder if the American Road and Transportation Builders Association moght have some sort of incentive to exaggerate their findings?
 
2017-02-17 12:19:03 AM  

12349876: sex_and_drugs_for_ian: the gas tax that primarily funds the highway trust fund hasn't kept pace with construction priorities as cars become more efficient.

Hasn't kept up with inflation either.  They're flat cents per gallon rather than a percentage per gallon.


How would you calculate that, and when? Every day when the price changes? Today the gas tax is 41.7c, tomorrow it's 41.6c, the next day it's 41.9c... now you have to track and report on daily sales and adjust the tax accordingly. Too complicated. Review the gas tax every year or two and keep it at cents per gallon. Any marginal gains in revenue gained by a percentage-based approach will be offset by tracking and compliance costs. And infrastructure costs don't fluctuate with the price of oil. A 20,000-lb truck takes up the same amount of space and causes the same wear-and-tear on the road whether the price of diesel is $2.13 or $3.50.
 
2017-02-17 12:31:11 AM  

W_Scarlet: If elected President, it would be my plan to push policy to tax large corporations [As defined by an annual profit margin of over 1 million USD, and articles of incorporation on file.] that rely on truck-based shipping for their profit margins [Fed Ex, UPS, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, Sears, Macys, Swift, Con-Way, so on and so forth.] with that money specifically marked to maintain interstate highways, and bridges specifically in the interstate highway network, and establish funding to build at least two major arteries of high speed rail, Los Angeles to New York, and Houston to Chicago.


So you'd tax those who "rely on truck-based shipping for their profit margins", but companies for which truck-based shipping is a cost center are exempt? Why them, and how would you make that distinction? And if Amazon sends most of its stuff through FedEx or UPS, why are you taxing Amazon? You already got your money from FedEx and UPS for their Amazon shipments. And as far as I know, Amazon doesn't make money from shipping; it's largely a cost center. All that, and the fact that you give "profit margin" in actual dollars rather than a percentage tells me you haven't really thought this through.

Gas/diesel taxes certainly need to be priced correctly, but after tolls it's still probably the best way to closely tie consumption and wear-and-tear with revenue. Trucks use a lot of fuel because they're heavy and they drive a lot, so they would be paying their fair share. Allocation is a different story (you pay the tax in one state when you fuel up, but wear out the roads in the next), but for revenue collection it's procedurally simple. Putting GPS on all USDOT-registered vehicles and embedding more passive weight sensors could help solve the allocation problem for those vehicle classes.

If you disagree, fine. I understand your desire to improve the funding model, but it would be nice to see a more developed argument about your tax, and how it would be more comprehensive, effective and fair than simply raising the current gas/diesel taxes. If the issue is resource consumption and/or wear-and-tear, your policy proposal lets a lot of people off the hook. And your earmarking of the money to only the interstate highway system also leaves a lot of needs unfunded.
 
2017-02-17 12:48:59 AM  
#10 on the California list was built in 2008.  Did it decay in 9 years or was it never any good to start with?
 
2017-02-17 12:52:18 AM  

BretMavrik: How would you calculate that, and when? Every day when the price changes? Today the gas tax is 41.7c, tomorrow it's 41.6c, the next day it's 41.9c... now you have to track and report on daily sales and adjust the tax accordingly. Too complicated


Is it too complicated though?

There are countless other things subject to a sales tax whose price changes all the time (admittedly not as much as gasoline).

Ring the sale at the price of gas for that day and tax the sale. Not sure why that should be any more complicated than taxing a set of tires or a new couch.

Of course the biggest problem with a sales tax on gas is low gas prices.

/ think the natural evolution will be to a per mile rate
// with exemptions for commercial vehicles
 
2017-02-17 01:15:29 AM  

Notabunny: I like round numbers, so I don't think we should do anything until we reach 100,000...


...deaths.
 
2017-02-17 01:15:31 AM  

sex_and_drugs_for_ian: BretMavrik: How would you calculate that, and when? Every day when the price changes? Today the gas tax is 41.7c, tomorrow it's 41.6c, the next day it's 41.9c... now you have to track and report on daily sales and adjust the tax accordingly. Too complicated

Is it too complicated though?

There are countless other things subject to a sales tax whose price changes all the time (admittedly not as much as gasoline).

Ring the sale at the price of gas for that day and tax the sale. Not sure why that should be any more complicated than taxing a set of tires or a new couch.

Of course the biggest problem with a sales tax on gas is low gas prices.

/ think the natural evolution will be to a per mile rate
// with exemptions for commercial vehicles


In that case, you would have to change the current gas tax to a sales tax... and somehow get that through Congress and the White House. Right now it's based on volume rather than the price. If it's a sales tax based on price, now it's going to be directly proportional to the price of gas. That now brings in the problems I mentioned before. Going this route means a lot of work to get it changed, and dealing with a lot of pissed off taxpayers when prices and taxes are high at the same time, which increases the likelihood of it being repealed or otherwise mitigated.

All of that in return for... what? What is the material benefit of moving to a percentage-based tax over the current model? In the long run you're not going to get more revenue, since the percentage will be tweaked to roughly match the approved spending, so why add the extra complexity and hassle? If we're looking at political feasibility, increasing the current gas tax is far less difficult than trying to replace it with something that will be perceived (whether real or not) as costing even more.

A lot of what I do for work involves process management and improvement. From that viewpoint, I see gas tax problems not as a problem with the concept or the process. It's an execution problem; the rate is pegged too low. Fix that and 90% of your problems go away. As you mention, over time we will need to tweak that model to accommodate electric cars and the like. But we can start building that in now and apply that model through attrition. Gas/diesel-based vehicles pay via gas/diesel taxes; other vehicles pay when they re-register based on their weight and mileage, or something along those lines.

Ultimately, revenue collection is the easy part. It's tying revenue collection and allocation. Where are you collecting the money, and where does it need to be spent? That's the (politically) sticky wicket.
 
2017-02-17 03:51:24 AM  

BretMavrik: 12349876: sex_and_drugs_for_ian: the gas tax that primarily funds the highway trust fund hasn't kept pace with construction priorities as cars become more efficient.

Hasn't kept up with inflation either.  They're flat cents per gallon rather than a percentage per gallon.

How would you calculate that, and when? Every day when the price changes? Today the gas tax is 41.7c, tomorrow it's 41.6c, the next day it's 41.9c... now you have to track and report on daily sales and adjust the tax accordingly. Too complicated. Review the gas tax every year or two and keep it at cents per gallon. Any marginal gains in revenue gained by a percentage-based approach will be offset by tracking and compliance costs. And infrastructure costs don't fluctuate with the price of oil. A 20,000-lb truck takes up the same amount of space and causes the same wear-and-tear on the road whether the price of diesel is $2.13 or $3.50.


How, indeed! Taxes are often calculated as a percentage of sales. It's called a sales tax. It's really hard math but the register does it automatically so don't worry your pretty head about that.
 
2017-02-17 03:56:02 AM  
The report is garbage.

I just checked all of the bridges listed for my county.

The only two that haven't either already been replaced (and Google already has the new bridge on street view) or is currently being replaced (and was complete crap, but the city couldn't do anything about it, because it's owned by farking CSX) are a bridge over the interstate not far from my house and one that isn't actually rated as deficient at all, and never has been.  The interstate one is fine.  There's no spalling, there's no exposed rebar, there's no sign of rust from rebar deterioration, the deck was resurfaced less than five years ago, it's probably easily good for another 20 years with no major work.

One of the listed bridges in my county was replaced over 10 years ago.  Their list shows it being built in 1919.  The current bridge was built in 2006.

Their list is worthless, they're trying to make news.
 
2017-02-17 04:51:49 AM  
Well, you can either have functioning infrastructure and stuff like high speed rail OR you can be #1 in bombing brown people.
 
2017-02-17 05:20:11 AM  

sex_and_drugs_for_ian: Of course the biggest problem with a sales tax on gas is low gas prices.


The other problem with a sales tax on gas is raids on the revenue. Politicians like to spend money on sexy stuff where they can play at being the guy on the white horse who rides to the rescue throwing money around, and infrastructure upkeep is pretty much the opposite of that.

I'm in a state where over 75% of the gas taxes and vehicle fees doesn't get spent on anything remotely resembling infrastructure, and then the same corrupt farksticks who benefit from this arrangement come at the taxpayers with guilt trips about how we haven't "invested" in infrastructure.

It's the old "I need your help because I'm an orphan, and how dare you point out that I murdered my parents" argument.
 
2017-02-17 05:33:55 AM  

UsikFark: BretMavrik: 12349876: sex_and_drugs_for_ian: the gas tax that primarily funds the highway trust fund hasn't kept pace with construction priorities as cars become more efficient.

Hasn't kept up with inflation either.  They're flat cents per gallon rather than a percentage per gallon.

How would you calculate that, and when? Every day when the price changes? Today the gas tax is 41.7c, tomorrow it's 41.6c, the next day it's 41.9c... now you have to track and report on daily sales and adjust the tax accordingly. Too complicated. Review the gas tax every year or two and keep it at cents per gallon. Any marginal gains in revenue gained by a percentage-based approach will be offset by tracking and compliance costs. And infrastructure costs don't fluctuate with the price of oil. A 20,000-lb truck takes up the same amount of space and causes the same wear-and-tear on the road whether the price of diesel is $2.13 or $3.50.

How, indeed! Taxes are often calculated as a percentage of sales. It's called a sales tax. It's really hard math but the register does it automatically so don't worry your pretty head about that.


The gas tax is not a sales tax, so calculating it is not the same. Changes in the gas tax also change the retail price. Again, the problem is not mathematical, but rather what benefit you're getting in return for the changes and associated costs.
 
2017-02-17 06:08:25 AM  

BretMavrik: UsikFark: BretMavrik: 12349876: sex_and_drugs_for_ian: the gas tax that primarily funds the highway trust fund hasn't kept pace with construction priorities as cars become more efficient.

Hasn't kept up with inflation either.  They're flat cents per gallon rather than a percentage per gallon.

How would you calculate that, and when? Every day when the price changes? Today the gas tax is 41.7c, tomorrow it's 41.6c, the next day it's 41.9c... now you have to track and report on daily sales and adjust the tax accordingly. Too complicated. Review the gas tax every year or two and keep it at cents per gallon. Any marginal gains in revenue gained by a percentage-based approach will be offset by tracking and compliance costs. And infrastructure costs don't fluctuate with the price of oil. A 20,000-lb truck takes up the same amount of space and causes the same wear-and-tear on the road whether the price of diesel is $2.13 or $3.50.

How, indeed! Taxes are often calculated as a percentage of sales. It's called a sales tax. It's really hard math but the register does it automatically so don't worry your pretty head about that.

The gas tax is not a sales tax, so calculating it is not the same. Changes in the gas tax also change the retail price. Again, the problem is not mathematical, but rather what benefit you're getting in return for the changes and associated costs.


Okay, what costs?
 
2017-02-17 06:16:07 AM  

UsikFark: BretMavrik: UsikFark: BretMavrik: 12349876: sex_and_drugs_for_ian: the gas tax that primarily funds the highway trust fund hasn't kept pace with construction priorities as cars become more efficient.

Hasn't kept up with inflation either.  They're flat cents per gallon rather than a percentage per gallon.

How would you calculate that, and when? Every day when the price changes? Today the gas tax is 41.7c, tomorrow it's 41.6c, the next day it's 41.9c... now you have to track and report on daily sales and adjust the tax accordingly. Too complicated. Review the gas tax every year or two and keep it at cents per gallon. Any marginal gains in revenue gained by a percentage-based approach will be offset by tracking and compliance costs. And infrastructure costs don't fluctuate with the price of oil. A 20,000-lb truck takes up the same amount of space and causes the same wear-and-tear on the road whether the price of diesel is $2.13 or $3.50.

How, indeed! Taxes are often calculated as a percentage of sales. It's called a sales tax. It's really hard math but the register does it automatically so don't worry your pretty head about that.

The gas tax is not a sales tax, so calculating it is not the same. Changes in the gas tax also change the retail price. Again, the problem is not mathematical, but rather what benefit you're getting in return for the changes and associated costs.

Okay, what costs?


Go back and read my comments in the thread. I'm not going to repeat them if you can't be bothered to read.

What benefits?
 
2017-02-17 08:17:20 AM  
Hmmm.  Budgeting billions of dollars to buy concrete for a border wall.  Deporting millions of immigrants that want to work and are looking for a path to citizenship.  56,000 bridges in dire need of repair.  Almost seems like we could put these pieces together somehow and come up with a good idea.
 
2017-02-17 09:40:41 AM  

Ozarkhawk: Hmmm.  Budgeting billions of dollars to buy concrete for a border wall.  Deporting millions of immigrants that want to work and are looking for a path to citizenship.  56,000 bridges in dire need of repair.  Almost seems like we could put these pieces together somehow and come up with a good idea.


We should make Mexico pay for the bridges?
 
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