Columnist is wrong about infrastructure

first_imgThe Feb. 12 column, “Fear not, America: Our infrastructure is not ‘crumbling,’”by David Harsanyi is fraught with inaccuracies. The writer claims “crumbling infrastructure” is an inaccurate characterization of our roads and bridges. He states that the Minneapolis bridge collapse in 2007 was a result of a design flaw. While the NTSB did attribute part of the failure to an undersized plate, Harsanyi omits key facts referenced by the investigators. The bridge had been resurfaced with 2-inch of added pavement – a 20 percent increase in load — and 262 tons of stone were piled on the bridge in a concentrated location as part of a repair. Notably, the bridge had functioned adequately for 50 years when it was overloaded. Stating that only 2 percent of bridges are structurally deficient is counter to the American Society of Civil Engineers, which finds the total to be 10 percent.A structurally deficient bridge is one which must be restricted for speed or weight. How many of us want to cross bridges that are unsafe?  Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Harsanyi mentions poor runways. The runway isn’t the problem. It’s terminals, and access that are issues.Further, he conflates infrastructure investment with social engineering, claiming “no evidence infrastructure creates jobs.” Harsanyi ignores the fact that 11 percent of jobs in America — more than 14 million — are in infrastructure. Stating “the majority of infrastructure is built by the private sector” is untrue. Roads, water systems and airports are public sector efforts, not private investment. Further, recent outcomes with private sector funding have been disappointing — the bankrupt Indiana tollway being one example. Healthy infrastructure is critical to a safe nation and economy.  We can fund it or we can continue to postpone the work.  If we ignore it, it costs more later and it crumbles.Scott StevensBurnt HillsMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img

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