Daylife/AP Photo by Jim Mone
America’s civil engineers think the nation’s aging and rusty infrastructure is just not making the grade.
The American Society of Civil Engineers has issued an infrastructure report card giving a bleak cumulative ranking of D.
“We’ve been talking about this for many many years,” Patrick Natale, the group’s executive director, told CNN. “We really haven’t had the leadership or will to take action on it. The bottom line is that a failing infrastructure cannot support a thriving economy.”
The ranking — which grades the condition of 15 infrastructure entities such as roads, bridges and dams — is the same as the the last time such a report was issued, in 2005. In 2001, the grade was D+, slightly better but still poor.
The group estimates that the government and the private sector need to invest $2.2 trillion over five years, roughly three times the size of President Obama’s stimulus package.
Natale says there’s been a mentality in the United States of short-term fixes and hoping that they work — “patch and pray,” as he puts it.
“By underinvesting, the price tag escalates,” Natale said.
Wander through the categories. I don’t see anything there I disagree with. It’s all pretty poor. The grades are deserved.
Colorado legislators gave initial approval to a bill requiring slowpoke drivers to pull over and let faster vehicles pass.
The House gave its preliminary approval to the measure, which requires slow-moving vehicles to pull over to the side of the road whenever five or more cars are lined up behind them.
The Denver Post said the proposal has been controversial in rural areas where representatives say it could be dangerous to pull tractors hauling chemical tanks or trucks loaded with hay off the road.
The bill has an amendment attached that would exempt farm vehicles from the law.
Of course, the bill is a laugher. You’d have to get a few county sheriffs willing to waste the time pulling over and ticketing someone who’s violating the ordnance.
It’s like the law we have here in New Mexico requiring  backhoes to be transported from job-site to job-site on flatbed trailers. Har!  If they’re licensed and can travel at speed limit speeds, light up flashers and stay to the right – it’s OK for them to be on public roads.
Don’t hold your breath!
Each triangle marks someone killed in a road accident
Would you be surprised to learn that nine people died last year on the highway you take to work everyday? Or would you be shocked to see that six teenagers died within five miles of your home in fatal car accidents? With the help of the interactive maps developed by University of Minnesota researchers, you can learn those facts and more by simply typing in your address.
Researchers in the Center for Excellence in Rural Safety (CERS) have mapped out every fatality in the nation with details on each death, so now you can see the “dead man’s curve” on your commute or the “devil’s triangle” in your backyard. [macabre or what?]
“When drivers type in their most common routes, they’re shocked how much blood is being shed on it,” said Tom Horan, research director for CERS. “When it’s the route you or your loved ones use, the need to buckle up, slow down and avoid distractions and drinking suddenly becomes much more personal and urgent.”
Enter your address at http://www.saferoadmaps.org and you will see a map or satellite image of all of the road fatalities that have occurred in the area. Plus, users have the ability to narrow down their search to see the age of the driver, whether speeding or drinking was a factor, and if the driver was wearing a seatbelt.
This is a gas! It’s also getting enough media coverage that their servers are a bit overloaded.