“Strong intrastructure- when will be give ourselves this blessing?”

Another intra-structural failure this week in San Francisco area with the potential for a second explosion looming nearby from a natural gas pipeline.  The disintegrating pipeline explosion has caused at  least four deaths, another two are missing  and at least 60 injured, some critically.
This scene is repeating itself in different cities across the US   When will we finally start the costly progress of replacing our pipelines, oil rigs, highways, electrical line, phone lines waterways, airways and bridges.  It would also give lots of people work for a long time and rebuild the backbone of the US and our prosperity?
What are some of the country’s major problem areas?
The president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, D. Wayne Klotz stated that “Our leaders are looking for solutions to the nation’s current economic crisis. Not only could investment in these critical foundations have a positive impact, but if done responsibly, it would also provide tangible benefits to the American people, such as reduced traffic congestion, improved air quality, clean and abundant water supplies and protection against natural hazards.”
The society’s report card results:

Roads – a D-minus,
Transit and aviation –  a D grades.
Levees – a D-minus. The report warned that many of the nation’s levees were built more than 50 years ago to protect crops, but now protect communities. It warned that the cost of repairing and rehabilitating them could exceed $100 billion.
“Today, a significant water line bursts on average every two minutes somewhere in the country, according to a New York Times analysis of Environmental Protection Agency data.

Recent incidents, including a bridge collapse in Minneapolis and a steam tunnel explosion in Highways
New York City, have brought the nation’s aging infrastructure into the spotlight.
I-71, Columbus, OH: Years of poor maintenance have led to erosion and a rise in quicksand traps that could swallow semitrucks whole.

Oil safety disasters

July 25, 2008 New Orleans, Louisiana: A 61-foot barge, carrying 419,000 gallons of heavy fuel, collides with a 600-foot tanker ship in the Mississippi River near New Orleans. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel leak from the barge, causing a halt to all river traffic while cleanup efforts commence to limit the environmental fallout on local wildlife.
Jan. 23, 2008 Port Arthur, Texas: The oil tanker Eagle Otome and a barge collide in the Sabine-Neches Waterway, causing the release of about 462,000 gallons of crude oil. Environmental damage was minimal as about 46,000 gallons were recovered and 175,000 gallons were dispersed or evaporated, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
April 20, 2010 Gulf of Mexico: The Deepwater Horizon, explosion on the vessel killed eleven people the 5,000-foot-long pipe that connects the wellhead to the rig—became detached and began leaking oil. In addition, U.S. Coast Guard investigators discovered a leak in the wellhead itself. As much as 60,000 barrels of oil per day were leaking into the water, threatening wildlife along the Louisiana Coast. Plus many other safety problems prior to the explosion went ignored. Oil reached the Louisiana shore on April 30, affected about 125 miles of coast. By early June, oil had also reached Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. It is the largest oil spill in U.S. history.
July 27, 2010 Kalamazoo, Michigan‘ 800,000 gallons of oil released into a creek began making its way downstream in the Kalamazoo River threatening to pollute one of the feeder system into Lake Michigan.

The U.S. power grid is often equated to a highway system, one that has been seriously neglected and is now being pushed to its limits with the demands of our growing and changing energy needs. The Department of Energy estimates that demand for electricity has increased by around 25 % since 1990 while construction of transmission facilities dropped 30%. According to Media Company Red Herring Inc., energy demand in the US is likely to surge 32% by 2015.

Time to come to the party and maybe in each city, we could begin using less energy, and encouraging local groups to get involved in finding more cost effective and environmentally sound methods of rebuilding.


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