|The US infrastructure and the country is in dire need of repair|
So what does the US infrastructure say about America? It says that America is in a very advanced state of decay.
At this point, much of America is being held together with spit, duct tape and prayers. Roads are crumbling and thousands of its bridges look like they could collapse at any moment. The power grid is ancient and over a trillion gallons of untreated sewage is leaking from aging sewer systems each year.
US airports and seaports are clogged with far more traffic than they were ever designed to carry.
Approximately a third of all of the dam failures that have taken place in the United States since 1874 have happened during the past decade. The national parks and recreation areas have been terribly neglected and the US railroads system is a bad joke.
Recent hurricanes which hit America showed how vulnerable the levees and dikes are, and drinking water systems all over the country are badly outdated. Sadly, at a time when we could use significant new investment in infrastructure, the spending on infrastructure is actually way down.
Back during the 50s and the 60s, the U.S. was spending between 3 and 4 percent of GDP on infrastructure. Today, that figure is down to about 2.4 percent. But the US does not have any extra money to spend on infrastructure because of reckless spending and because of the massive amount of national debt that it has accumulated.
Here are 21 facts about America’s failing infrastructure
#1 The American Society of Civil Engineers has given America’s crumbling infrastructure an overall grade of D.
#2 There are simply not enough roads in the United States today. Each year, traffic jams cost the commuters of America 4.2 billion hours and about 2.8 million gallons of gasoline.
#3 It is being projected that Americans will spend an average of 160 hours stuck in traffic annually by the year 2035.
#4 Approximately one-third of all roads in the United States are in substandard condition.
#5 Close to a third of all highway fatalities are due “to substandard road conditions, obsolete road designs, or roadside hazards.”
#6 One out of every four bridges in America either carries more traffic than originally intended or is in need of repair.
#7 Repairing all of the bridges in the United States that need repair would take approximately 140 billion dollars.
#8 According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, our decaying transportation system costs the U.S. economy about 78 billion dollars annually in lost time and fuel.
#9 All over America, asphalt roads are being ground up and are being replaced with gravel roads because they are cheaper to maintain. The state of South Dakota has transformed over 100 miles of asphalt roads into gravel roads, and 38 out of the 83 counties in the state of Michigan have transformed at least some of their asphalt roads into gravel roads.
#10 There are 4,095 dams in the United States that are at risk of failure. That number has risen by more than 100 percent since 1999.
#11 Of all the dam failures that have happened in the United States since 1874, a third of them have happened during the past decade.
#12 Close to half of all U.S. households do not have access to Public bus or rail transit.
#13 The US's aging sewer systems spill more than a trillion gallons of untreated sewage every single year. The cost of cleaning up that sewage each year is estimated to be greater than 50 billion dollars.
#14 It is estimated that rolling blackouts and inefficiencies in the U.S. electrical grid cost the U.S. economy approximately 80 billion dollars a year.
#15 It is being projected that by the year 2020 every single major container port in the United States will be handling at least double the volume that it was originally designed to handle.
#16 All across the United States, conditions at many of our state parks, recreation areas and historic sites are deplorable at best. Some states have backlogs of repair projects that are now over a billion dollars long….
#17 Today, the U.S. spends about 2.4 percent of GDP on infrastructure. Meanwhile, China spends about 9 percent of GDP on infrastructure.
#18 In the United States today, approximately 16 percent of our construction workers are unemployed.
#19 China has plans to build 55,000 miles of highways by the year 2020. If all of those roads were put end to end, it would be longer than the total length of the entire U.S. interstate system.
#20 The World Economic Forum ranks U.S. infrastructure 23rd in the world, and we fall a little bit farther behind the rest of the developed world every single day.
#21 It has been projected that it would take 2.2 trillion dollars over the next 5 years just to repair our existing infrastructure. That does not even include a single penny for badly needed new infrastructure.
So where did the US go wrong?
Well, one of the big problems is that the US have become a very materialistic "me first" society that is obsessed with short-term thinking. Investing in infrastructure is something that has long-term benefits, but these days Americans tend to only be focused on what is happening right now and most politicians are only focused on the next election cycle.
Another major problem is that there is so much corruption and waste in the US system these days. Special interest groups and corporations have basically total control over the US political system
The government certainly spends more than enough money, but very little of that money is spent wisely. Too much is going into military spending, without questions asked; No one in America seems to have figured out that the US is not obliged to be the global cop to keep the weapons industry happy.
And sadly, the US simply does not have the money that it needs for infrastructure because of all the debt that it has have piled up.
Unless the Trump Administration puts their money where their mouth is ( which they have not done so far) the federal government, state governments and local governments are all struggling to stay afloat in an ocean of red ink, and unfortunately that means that spending on infrastructure is likely to be cut even more in the years ahead.
It is high time everyone in America wakes up to the reality that "business as usual" is not working anymore and that radical change is needed. So far no one has seriously stepped up to the plate.