American Infrastructure Report Card: FAIL!

After the tragic Minnesota bridge collapse, many people are worried about the safety of our nation's infrastructure.

Turns out, the American Society of Civil Engineers had released an Infrastructure Report Card in 2005 warning us about the dangers we faced.

And now the scary part: amongs all the potential trouble spots, American bridges had the best grade on the report!

http://www.asce.org/reportcard/2005/page.cfm?id=103 - via mentalfloss (Image: mrjoro [Flickr])


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They don't test ACTUAL bridges in wind tunnels, of course not. They used to test models of bridges in them, though, to determine if a steady wind could cause them to oscillate (as happened in Tacoma.) I'm sure now it's all done on computer. But they used to test bridge designs in wind tunnels.

You may be right about building in a desert, but whether or not it was a good idea to build there, the fact of the matter is that we have. And in this reality, where cities like Phoenix and LA exist, we should be supporting them the same as cities built anywhere else. If you live in the US, you should never "just expect" brownouts because of where you are.
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Pretty sure they don't test bridges in wind tunnels... but I assume you just meant components.

Good point about the power grid, but when you build in a desert those things happen, just like when we build below sea level.
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Nice fearmongoring, but our bridges *are* actually in great condition, relatively speaking. The cause of that collapse is still extremely mysterious... the structure which collapsed was rated "satisfactory" and wasn't due to be replaced until 2020. (The upper parts of the bridge, that didn't collapse, were the parts that were in bad shape, and they were in the process of being repaired as the collapse happened.)

When the first Tacoma Narrows bridge collapsed, nobody recognized the danger of oscillation. But we found that danger, and now all structures are tested in a wind-tunnel to make them safer.

In short, s*** happens! But we'll find out exactly why it happens, and we'll fix every bridge so it won't happen again.

If you want to get people moving on infrastructure issues, talk about our power grid. When Enron shut down generators, Washington and Oregon had plenty of power but couldn't ship any to California because there is only one high-tension powerline between them, and it's saturated all the time. California instead had to buy power from Mexico. I'm never afraid of a bridge I'm driving over, but a terrorism attack on our crappy, under-developed power grid could knock out power to dozens of states for days or weeks, and that scares the crap out of me.
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