Wednesday, September 9, 2009

U.S. Gets Ds on Infrastructure Report Card

U.S. Gets Ds on Infrastructure Report Card - CBS Evening News - CBS News:

"(CBS) The current financial crisis in the United States is making a bad problem even worse - namely, the sorry state of highways and other core infrastructure components. CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker reports on this problem in Los Angeles - and how it echoes around the country.

The cab of a fire engine was almost totally devoured by a 15-foot sinkhole in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley Tuesday - the result of a broken water main. It came just three days after an even bigger break down the road washed away cars and flooded residents and businesses for blocks.

With aging infrastructure failing so spectacularly, the mayor of L.A. says the city is playing catch up when it comes to repair.

'Some of these pipes are more than 100 years old,' said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Failing infrastructure is not just an L.A. problem. Further north, workers scrambled to reopen the 73-year old Bay Bridge between San Francisco and Oakland after finding a crack in a steel beam. The bridge was severely damaged and refurbished after the 1989 earthquake.

But it's not just earthquake-prone California that's falling apart. And it's not just bridges and water mains, but also airports, dams, roadways, sewers and more.

In their annual report card, the nation's civil engineers give the whole country poor grades for infrastructure.

'It'd be nifty if we could get all our grades in the country up to a C or even up to a B,' said Mike Kincaid of the American Society of Civil Engineers. 'And I think we have a lot of work to do before we get to that point.'

Read rest of article -- see video
See ACSE Report Card

Remember the Minneapolis bridge collapse two years ago? Today, more than 150,000 bridge"

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