Since 2011, the Republicans have been adamantly against spending for infrastructure; this week we’ve seen the effects of that. While construction crews were working on an old bridge in Cincinnati, Ohio, the bridge experienced a “catastrophic pancake collapse” that left one person dead and another injured.
From Amtrak to bridge collapse: American’s dying infrastructure
Most of our infrastructure was laid down in the 1950s, after World War II. This saw the rapid expansion of highways and interstates, along with the birth of the suburbs. Our power-grid was laid down, our rail system was established, and the United States build itself using local, state, and federal dollars.
Since the 1960s, however, infrastructure spending has fallen steadily. As of 2011, it was 2.4 percent of the total GDP. Contrast with the five percent that Europe spent, or the nine percent that China spent. The last time we were even close to what Europe spend was 50 years ago.
In 2000, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that repairing America’s decayed infrastructure would cost close to $800 billion. And if we don’t get our act together and act now, the price tag in another five years, according to the American Society of Civic Engineers, will be $3.1 trillion.
To try to remedy this, Obama introduced a bill that would spend $60 billion on infrastructure in 2011. The Bill would’ve created tens of thousands of jobs in addition to dedicating much-needed resources to our crumbling infrastructure, but Speaker of the House John Boehner and his other Republican comrades shot it down, since it would increase taxes on the wealthy.
And again, just last month: hours after an Amtrak trained derailed in Pennsylvania, Congress rebuffed another infrastructure spending bill, this one for the rail system.
Construction crews were working to demolish an old bridge over interstate 75 on late Monday when it collapsed.
The name of the victim from Monday’s collapse hasn’t been released, pending family notification; dispatchers, meanwhile, called it a “major collapse.” In addition to killing a construction worker and injuring a truck driver, the bridge collapse shut down Southbound I-75 for at least 48 hours.
There’s an investigation planned into the bridge’s rating, according to officials. City Manager Harry Black said, “Something went wrong, and a tragedy has occurred” but “We don’t believe that there is any additional loss of life.”
Describing the Tuesday morning commute, Blackwell said it was going to “be a mess.”
Just like American infrastructure, courtesy of the Republican party.
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Featured image via screen capture from USA today