Disaster Anniversary Week, part 2

May 19, 2015

Two years ago a truck traveling on I-5 knocked out the support beams for the Skagit River Bridge and it collapsed into the water 38 feet below. Luckily for everybody no one was killed. Not so much for the hundred of businesses, shoppers and drivers who depend on that economic lifeline. For a good month traffic was backed up on other smaller, slower bridges while the I-5 Skagit bridge was repaired. 

We dodged a bullet...but for some reason we (we as in U.S. citizens) continue to ignore our aging infrastructure. Not only are our bridges and roads aging but the vehicles and loads we're putting on them are growing in size and weight...not to mention the increasing number of vehicles on the road.

It's amazing that how important our infrastructure is to our economic bottom line, yet how little we care about it ...until it isn't there.

Something happened to the American mental mind about 35 years ago...and it wasn't pretty. In fact it was the very worst thing that could happen to our country. Too many voters believed in Ronald Reagan's "Government is not the solution, government is the problem." Ever since then a lot of voters and politicians drank that Kool-Aid and now it is a weirdly respected and accepted belief system. A belief that we can continue cutting taxes and expect our government to do more with less resources. We don't have to invest anything into our infrastructure and it will automatically evolve and never age and never need any kind of maintenance. 

So- America get used to collapsing bridges and other failing aspects of our infrastructure at the same time other countries have ALREADY built bullet and Maglev trains. I guess American Exceptionalism IS the theory that the United States is qualitatively different from other nations.... we ignore while they invest.

-Milt Priggee

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