U.S. INFRASTRUCTURE Politicians build bridges, John Q. Public pays for them

Oct 01, 2007 | 02:57 PM |

The decay of the nation's infrastructure has long been a problem without a face. But that changed in an instant when cameras recorded the deadly collapse of the interstate highway bridge in Minneapolis. Suddenly, a nebulous dilemma was tied to a horrifying image few will soon forget. Or will they?

Lawmakers and the companies experienced in building the nation's bridges and roads moved quickly after the collapse to make their case for more money to address the problem. Currently, the main source of federal funding comes from the 2005 transportation bill, which allocated $286.4 billion over six years to improve the nation's transportation network. But critics, and even the Transportation Department, have said that amount falls well short of what's needed not only to repair the aging system but to undertake badly needed new projects. With the bridge collapse, advocates see a unique chance to get their voices heard.....

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