|Issue of the Day Archive for the ‘Transportation’ Category|
“A Calculus of Hope” is what the New York Times called the billion dollar patch job to the Mississippi River levee system. The Army Corps of Engineers website for New Orleans (nolarisk.usace.army.mil) shows street by street how the repaired system would protect the crescent city if another storm were to hit. The repairs, originally set at $7 Billion and now at $14 Billion, would not save the city from a 1-in-100 storm, much less a storm like Katrina which was a 1-in-396.
Right up the River in Minneapolis, in July 3, 2007, the I-35W Bridge collapsed, the cause was structural decay. A report written by the Huffington Post recounted the call for repairs has not been completed due to “soaring construction costs, budget shortages, election-year politics, a backlog of bridge projects, competing highway repairs and bureaucracy often held bridge work to only incremental progress.”
The US Budget has provided for the Corp of Engineers since 1779 when it was only one engineer and two assistances. Historic data suggest that prior to our entry into WWII, the Federal Government and the states allocated 2.1% of the US budget for Major Physical Capitol Investments. After the war, the outlays for the US infrastructure has never reached above 0.5% (only in 1950 and 1964), for a majority of the time the rate was 0.3% and recently fallen to 0.2% of the entire US Budget.