America was once a country that built stuff. Previous generations of Americans constructed the greatest highways, bridges, railroads, ports, dams and water systems that anyone had ever seen.
Magnificent new mega-cities were erected from coast to coast, and the rest of the world looked at us with envy. Ultimately, the keys to all of this infrastructure were handed down to us, and we have really messed things up. We don’t actually build much of anything these days. In fact, we can’t even maintain the infrastructure that we have been given. As a society we have become extremely lazy and extremely incompetent, and so the great civilization that our forefathers built for us is now crumbling right in front of our eyes.
The American Society of Civil Engineers gives America’s infrastructure a grade every few years, and the last time they issued a report we were given a C-…
In its latest Infrastructure Report Card, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the United States a C- , citing its crumbling public roads, ageing bridges, and deteriorating water mains.
Personally, I believe that a C- grade is extremely generous.
After what we have witnessed in recent months, I am entirely convinced that we deserve an F grade when the next report is released in 2025.
America is literally falling apart all around us, and a few years ago the Volcker Alliance estimated that there is a one trillion dollar backlog of repairs that desperately need to be done…
The United States is consistently falling short on funding infrastructure maintenance. A report by former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker’s Volcker Alliance in 2019 estimated the U.S. has a US$1 trillion backlog of needed repairs. Over 220,000 bridges across the country—about 33% of the total—require rehabilitation or replacement. A water main break now occurs somewhere in the U.S. every two minutes, and an estimated 6 million gallons of treated water are lost each day. This is happening at the same time the western United States is implementing water restrictions amid the driest 20-year span in 1,200 years. Similarly, drinking water distribution in the United States relies on over 2 million miles of pipes that have limited life spans.
In 2022, 60 Minutes did a major report about our crumbling infrastructure, and a dilapidated section of I-95 that runs right through Philadelphia was specifically featured during that show…
In Philadelphia, Kroft reported on a highly trafficked section of I-95 in need of repair. Those improvements are now underway and scheduled to continue until at least 2028. The unmistakable orange construction signs along I-95 will soon appear on roads around the U.S. Philadelphia’s I-95 corridor is only a small portion of the 43% of U.S. roads that the 2021 report by the American Society of Civil Engineers said needs to be fixed.
Sure enough, the repairs never got done, and a portion of the highway completely collapsed on Sunday…
Human remains have been found in the wreckage of the Interstate 95 collapse in Philadelphia. Part of the major US highway, which extends from the Maine-Canada border south to Miami, Florida, collapsed on Sunday after a tanker truck carrying an estimated 8,500 gallons of fuel caught fire.
Approximately 150,000 vehicles would normally travel through there every day, but now traffic patterns have been thrown into a state of chaos and we are being told that it is going to take months to make the highway operational again…
I-95 is going to take months to repair, sparking chaos on the major interstate that funnels 150,000 vehicles across the East Coast every day, officials have warned. Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro last night said the highway was going to take ‘some months’ before it is running smoothly again following the overpass collapse.
Of course if this happened in China, the Chinese would probably have the road opened up again in a matter of days.
They know how to do infrastructure.
So now thousands upon thousands of trucks will have to find new routes, and this will cause significant supply chain headaches for the foreseeable future.
Our railroads are falling apart as well, and this has had disastrous consequences.
We all saw what happened in East Palestine, Ohio earlier this year, but that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Last year, there were more than 1,000 train derailments in the United States. When you break that down, it comes out to an average of about three a day…
There were at least 1,164 train derailments across the country last year, according to data from the Federal Railroad Administration. That means the country is averaging roughly three derailments per day.
I am certainly not eager to hop on a train any time soon.
Of course I am not particularly eager to jump on a plane either.
At this point, our airports are about 40 years old on average, and they desperately need billions upon billions of dollars worth of repairs and improvements…
In the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, U.S airports earned a D+ for both condition and needs. It’s estimated that they will need $115.4 billion over the next five years to address these infrastructure challenges. Roughly half of all planned airport projects between 2021 and 2025 are terminal-related. At many airports, building upgrades are needed to increase the number of gates and accommodate larger jet aircraft. Flexible and automated baggage handling systems, dynamic wayfinding, and queue management systems projects are needed to ease crowding and improve circulation.
It is frankly embarrassing to compare our run down airports to the shiny new airports that are going up in Asia and in Europe.
But this is our country now. We are a run down people that live in a run down society that is literally crumbling all around us.
The truth is that the United States has been an empire in decline for decades, and the outlook for the future is extremely bleak if we stay on the road that we are currently on.
Sadly, many people don’t care for such warnings.
Most of them are just going to keep partying for as long as they can, and a lot of them will never realize what is happening until it is far too late to do anything about it.