From Sigma Xi's Science in the News Weekly:
The Minneapolis bridge collapse of Aug. 1 was still echoing in the nation's
headlines last week, reflecting concerns for the country's infrastructure.
The news wasn't always reassuring: The Los Angeles Times reported that many
bridge-inspection methods are decades old ( http://tinyurl.com/2rkbqx ) and
could benefit from new technology, and Princeton structural engineer David
Billington suggested in the New York Times that we need to design better
bridges in the first place. (http://tinyurl.com/2tzc8h ) (Second link has
more interest for me.)
Minnesota spends an inordinate amount on "transportation". We're a
physically large mostly rural state and a huge chunk of the money goes
to mass transit projects. There aren't enough people in the whole state
to support most mass transit projects.
There is more than enough money available for inspections, rebuilding,
fixing, etc. What there isn't is enough will power to spend the money
where it needs to be spent when it needs to be spent. There isn't the
willingness to tell the 50 people in the middle-of-nowhere that the new
road to their middle-of-nowhere costs too much and they'll have to
figure out how to PAY FOR IT THEMSELVES.
Minnesota already has a state constitutional requirement that the gas
tax, and other specific taxes, are used for transportation related
expenses. Clearly, those in charge of the money are incapable of
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