Every bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down


MCT Photo

A New Yorker jogs on the structurally deficient Brooklyn Bridge. The danger of busy urban bridges under misrepair is the greater potential for lost life should people be on the bridge if it collapses. The Brooklyn Bridge is not the only New York City bridge to be unsound; the Tappan Zee is a large concern as the Manhattan Construction Attorney believes that it could collapse at any moment.

Claire Lefton, A&E Chief

When was the last time you really thought about American infrastructure? You might want to start thinking about it because according to the geographic information service arcGIS, anywhere between 37.71-50.551 percent of bridges in Hamilton County alone are considered structurally deficient.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, out of Hamilton County’s 752 bridges, 275 are not structurally sound. Think about that. Potentially half of the bridges you drive over are considered dangerous. Some have seen no maintenance since they were built nearly 50 years ago.

Bridges are not the only problem with our infrastructure. American infrastructure overall received a “D+” rating from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). While bridges themselves received a “C+”, dams, roads, and drinking water all received a “D.”

The ASCE said in their report card, “…it is clear that we have a significant backlog of overdue maintenance across our infrastructure systems, a pressing need for modernization, and an immense opportunity to create reliable, long-term funding sources to avoid wiping out rent gains.”

On the federal level, there is a gas tax to fund repairs. The issues with this are that gas prices and fuel usage have decreased and the tax percentage has not been adjusted for inflation. Additionally, there is very little public support for it despite being backed by both the Chamber of Commerce and unions.

Government teacher Mr. Kevin Wittman said, “No one wants to ever talk about taxes, but the reality is we need to pay for these things somehow.”

On the state level, Governor John Kasich has the power to put forth money to make repairs. Kasich constantly brags about Ohio’s surplus (that he procured from slashing local governments, education, and Planned Parenthood).

In a PBS interview, Kasich claimed, “As governor of Ohio, we have gone from $8 billion in the hole to a $2 billion surplus.”

Kasich needs to put our money where his mouth is and use the surplus to help keep Ohioans safe. If we do not pay attention to our infrastructure before it is too late, we run the risk of endangering lives, even our own.