April 2, 2015
Industry News

It’s Time to Fix the US Infrastructure

It's Time to Fix the US Infrastructure

America's Failing Infrastructure: A Crisis in Bridges and Roads

America's infrastructure, including its bridges, is a vital lifeline that millions rely on daily. These roadways connect us to services, businesses, jobs, and communities, serving as the backbone of our nation's functioning. Practically every activity in the United States, in one way or another, depends on our infrastructure.

According to the 2013 Report Card for America's Infrastructure by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), a concerning statistic emerges: 1 in 9 bridges is structurally deficient, equating to a staggering 70,000 bridges nationwide that require repair or replacement. The consequences of our deteriorating infrastructure are visible in cities across the country, and apart from a one-time infusion of funds in the 2009 stimulus program, there has been little substantial action taken to address this crisis, and no new legislation appears imminent.

A recent 60 Minutes segment showcased Pittsburgh's bridges as emblematic of the nationwide infrastructure decay. The Pittsburgh metropolitan area is home to over 4,000 bridges, serving over 9,000,000 passengers. Shockingly, 20% of these bridges are categorized as structurally deficient. Many of these bridges were erected more than half a century ago, surpassing the typical design life of a bridge. For instance, the Liberty Bridge, a crucial artery, was built in 1928 and is now 86 years old. In some instances, steel structures have been installed to protect vehicles from falling debris due to the crumbling state of these bridges.

As per Andy Herman, past president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Pennsylvania grapples with one of the most severe infrastructure problems in the nation. Each year, one of every four bridges in Pennsylvania falls into the structural deficient category, exacerbating the situation. Moreover, there exists a considerable gap between the funds needed for bridge repair or replacement and the actual budget allocated for this purpose. Philadelphia's I-95 alone features a 22-mile stretch with 15 structurally deficient bridges, and the cost of repairing just this segment of bridges and roads is an estimated $7 billion, a sum that the state currently lacks.

A 2011 report by the Urban Land Institute emphasized that communities must "do more with less" and explore creative solutions to address the infrastructure dilemma. There is a growing impetus to act, and some states are initiating legislative measures to counter the underinvestment in infrastructure. Simultaneously, the private sector has devised and tested innovative systems that can bridge the financial divide and prolong the lifespan of these structures.

HJ3 Composite Technologies, a pioneer since its establishment in 2001, employs carbon fiber technologies to fortify bridges and overpasses. Their revolutionary approach has repaired over 1,000,000 square feet of transportation structures, delivering an astounding 80% reduction in replacement costs.

As conscientious citizens, we must bring attention to the infrastructure crisis and demand sustainable investment from our government representatives to tackle this critical issue. By raising awareness about the economic impact and by proposing effective solutions, we can reshape the infrastructure conversation. Investing in infrastructure will:

  • Create jobs
  • Strengthen communities
  • Enhance commerce

HJ3's unwavering commitment to secure, efficient, and long-term solutions that fortify and safeguard our bridges, buildings, and railways represents a smart, cost-effective strategy. Reach out to us today at info@hj3.com to explore these transformative solutions.

We extend our gratitude to 60 Minutes for inspiring this blog and indirectly contributing information through their report, "Falling Apart: America's Neglected Infrastructure."

The proposed budget includes funds to repair degraded bridges to help ensure that collapses like this one don't happen. Photo Credit: CNN

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