Looks at the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, commonly known at the Interstate. The primary road arteries across the U.S., nearly 48,000 miles of highway, much of which needs repairs. The cost would be in the hundreds of billions of dollars if done all at once. There is a similar problem beneath the surface–tens upon tens of thousands of water main breaks a year. Far to many for any local, state, or the federal government to pay for
According to Send Word Now:
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the country’s drinking water an overall grade of “D” (or “poor”) on its recent report card. Its dire conclusion? “At the dawn of the 21st century, much of our drinking water infrastructure is nearing the end of its useful life. There are an estimated 240,000 water main breaks per year in the United States. Assuming every pipe would need to be replaced, the cost over the coming decades could reach more than $1 trillion, according to the American Water Works Association (AWWA)
And while disease outbreaks attributable to drinking water are largely unlikely in the here and now, aging pipes in desperate need of replacement suggest a more ominous outlook moving forward. Says former ASCE President Greg DiLoreto, “It comes down to the fact that we have to invest more in the system if we want to continue to have a safe, reliable drinking water system. If we don’t, we’re going to have a lot more Flint, Michigans.”
A number of media reports say that the Flint problem is already widespread. The $1 trillion, against the U.S. GDP of $18 billion, is another matter.