Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Fracture Critical

A term meaning that if a single, vital component of the bridge is compromised, it is at risk of collapse.

There are 66,749 structurally deficient bridges and 84,748 functionally obsolete bridges in the U.S., including Puerto Rico, according to the Federal Highway Administration. 

Spending by states and local government on bridge construction adjusted for inflation has more than doubled since 1998, from $12.3 billion to $28.5 billion last year.

Shovel Ready

Transportation got 48 Billion in stimulus funding:

$27.5 billion for highway and bridge construction projects

$8 billion for intercity passenger rail projects and rail congestion grants, with priority for high-speed rail

$6.9 billion for new equipment for public transportation projects (Federal Transit Administration)

$1.5 billion for national surface transportation discretionary grants

$1.3 billion for Amtrak

$1.1 billion in grants for airport improvements

$750 million for the construction of new public rail transportation systems and other fixed guideway systems.

$750 million for the maintenance of existing public transportation systems

$200 million for FAA upgrades to air traffic control centers and towers, facilities, and equipment

Was it money well spent?  "Shovel Ready"  was well intended to spend money quickly to reinvigorate the economy, but perhaps in the long term it wasn't the best objective.  Unfortunately the vast majority of the projects that were shovel ready weren't the necessary infrastructure repairs we thought they were.

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