There is No Infrastructure Crisis
Posted at 9:45 a.m. on Feb. 18
President Obama highlighted the need to spend more on infrastructure to repair “the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country,” but Jack Shafer warns not to buy into the hype.
“As the Federal Highway Administration explains (pdf), when inspectors grade a bridge as ‘structurally deficient’ they’re not saying it’s unsafe, only that it is deteriorating and its load-carrying capacity is reduced.”
“Anything with a $2.7 trillion price tag should be approached with suspicion… Does every infrastructure ‘need’ demand a flotilla of dollars from Washington? Must we rescue every aging bridge in rapidly depopulating states like Michigan? Shouldn’t infrastructure projects such as harbor dredging be billed to those who directly benefit from them, and not the government?”