Bridges are a very important asset to America and nowhere is our infrastructure crisis more clear than in our aging bridges. This crisis has already cost lives.

It’s been 12 years since the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis collapsed during rush hour. The collapse was tragic and resulted in injury and deaths. The bridge was a classic case of cracks and corrosion, which affects a variety of bridges in the United States. Ultimately, the cause had to do with construction equipment on the bridge and fault in the original metal-and-rivet design. This resulted in a promise to fix America’s bridges but 12 years on, our bridges still remain in terrible shape.

A Bridge to Disaster

The United States has 614,387 bridges. 4 in 10 of then are 50 years or older. The crisis we have with our nation’s bridges is merely another example of how the structures that were built in the years after World War II are simply wearing out. Bridges are helpful in helping move goods and people across the landscape and across the water, however, when they fail, usually, it comes at the very real cost of human lives and the I-13 bridge disaster was evidence of that. The bridge was old, used a poor design that is no longer in use, and was not maintained well, due mostly to age. When we live in a country where protective structures have to be put under bridges to stop them from dropping parts of concrete on people, like in Pittsburgh, that is a crisis that deserves address.

When Bridges Fall

This helpful video analyzes the collapse and the overall state of America’s infrastructure and talks with the victims of the collapse. On the brightside, the reconstruction of the bridge only took a year and a half. The state and community came together to repair the bridge as fast as possible. This story goes to show, if we focused on this problem, we could fix it quickly.

America is Falling Apart

Jack Ma, a popular Chinese businessman, remarked that instead of investing in our nation, we’ve spent trillions on our unfortunate Middle East adventures. America has prioritized tax cuts for the wealthy and overseas wars at the cost of the things that keep America on the move. John Oliver breaks down the crisis for us.