Tuesday, January 17, 2017

FIXING WHAT? WHEN? HOW?

We've been hearing in dribs and drabs, about major, essential things seriously deteriorating -- infrastructure that urgently needs fixing.

I read a scary article, then another, avoiding stuff I didn't understand -- my ability to tolerate bad news is at an all time low. But now -- January -- right now is the time to look at things clearly, toughly, and perceive what's ahead.  

WASTE -- garbage, recycling -- what we're doing with it, what we need to do to fix the problem would cost $56 billion.

RAILROADS -- just to fix the rails between Boston and DC -- $10 billion.  (No money numbers about fixing troubled rails between other major cities, but I dug up this list of the 50 major cities -- all have seriously deteriorating railroad connections.) Multiply by 10 -- give or take a couple of $bill. here and there -- $500 billion?

BRIDGES -- last time estimated was in 2010, when fixing deficient bridges was -- $106 billion.

ELECTRIC GRID -- to make us secure between now and 2025, the government needs to spend  $934 billion.

ROADS --  fix, upgrade, maintain them the FHA (Federal Highway Administration) needs $170 billion.

... Billions -- what's happened? "Time Magazine" said in 1965, just for transportation and water, we used to spend 6 % of the national budget. Now we're spending maybe 2.7 %....

LEVEES -- designed to protect farmland, they're currently used to protect residential areas where the risk of flooding is a major concern -- fixing -- $100 billion.

DRINKING WATER --  90% of the country depends on old public water systems that last 75 to 120 years. The EPA (Environment Protection Agency) estimated in 2011 that maintaining or replacing pipes, treatment plants, storage tanks and other assets over the next 20 years will cost $384 billion.

AIRPORTS -- mostly rely on a 1960s radar system. FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has been rolling out a new air-traffic control system since 2007 -- fixing over the next 10 years will cost $32 billion.

Yowie-owie-wow -- add up the red money numbers, the time it's gonna take, the problems -- it's a billion, trillion, centillion big and little things to fix, change, update. Golly-gee -- I hope the  guys who will be running the country, know how to hold back a Tsunami.
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