Monday, September 14, 2015

Crumbling Infrastructure At the Edges

When we hear or read about bridges that are failing or crumbling infrastructure most of us might wonder how this really effects us. Especially after we drive over a bridge or section of road that we hear is bad but experience no problems whenever we cross it. Recently I had a conversation with a local along these lines while we were discussing yet another spilled load of round bales we had to pass by out on the highway.

There are a number of overpasses in the area that are crumbling but most locals don't even know it. Why? Because the lack of repairs isn't something that would effect a passenger car, SUV or even a pickup truck but get something with a load on it and the general bad state of the road is immediately apparent.

Not too long ago I was transporting a piece of equipment back to the Small-Hold on our car hauler trailer only to notice right after I crossed a bridge that had some rather bad washboarding on the pavement that ran to the bridge deck that I had in fact broken two tie down straps when the trailer started bouncing. I was even driving well under the speed limit. Luckily I could see the trailer and the load clearly from the rearview mirror and had extra tie downs but for heavier or larger loads the driver may not immediately notice when such things happen.

This is where the general public really pays the price for the over spending, over hiring and over promising of the various governments as they in fact rob our infrastructure to meet their social engineering commitments and it is ultimately what will cause the final slide into a real collapse situation. Each spill, broken strap, traffic jam etc. is lost revenue that will continue to add up until the entire system clogs up.

The various government entities will then try and raise taxes even further promising to fix these problems they are already suppose to be taking care of. If they are successful then we suffer even more loss of economic spending and the money taken again goes to the bottomless pit of government spending.  If they are not successful, like the recent try by MoDot, then the infrastructure doesn't get fixed and we still suffer economic loss in the form we see in the picture above.

This Summer I have indeed noted a far larger number of broken and toppled loads along the highways and roads I travel.

One way or another everything is paid for even when the government thinks they are creating their money out of thin air the people are still paying the price.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!


  1. A farm community near here had a railroad overpass(on a US highway even) get reduced to 10 to max right before harvest season. But don't worry St. Louis has that new sixth lane on the highway to get from Clayton to Town and Country before the smoke from the riot fires gets into your Merc's leather seats.

    When you combine the wastefulness of MoDot with increased CaFE standards a cynical person could wonder if all the brilliant civil servants aren't really that smart.

  2. One of the problems with bridges is that so many concrete bridges were built is say a 25 year period. They were quick and wouldn't have to be reworked for years.Well some have been redecked twice and the early ones are being replaced especially if salt water can penetrate to the steel inside the supports.
    When exploring along the James river, I have found that the railroad used old canal aqueducts and other stonework to lay the tracks on in the 1880s. These cut stone structures have been carrying the heavy trains for about 135 years. I'm not saying to build cut stone bridges but surely there has to be better methods than the ones that have to be rebuilt every few decades. It is now to late to build them right since too much of the money is going into non-essential projects and engineering studies that produce the same low quality structures.

    1. Cut stone is not a particularly effective building material, but you can obviously overbuild with anything. My understanding is that your typical concrete bridge is specified to have a 50 to 75 year life. The post-tension concrete bridges have had some methodology problems. It is my understanding that there are fixes for these problems, but that doesn't help with the older bridges that started showing up in the 1950s.

      But you are correct, a post tension bridge is a way to build an effective bridge cheaply. Obviously if this causes you to overbuild (build more than your willing to maintain) than your going to have some issues down the road.

  3. If you lived in Orlando, they'd just build another toll road. Promises to remove the tolls from decades past have never come to reality. The only highway without a toll is I-4 and it's a nightmare. Guess what they've come up with? A toll road down the center of I-4 if you want to get to where you need to quicker, you have the option of course of traveling the old highway without a toll but with less lanes. It's only going to take 6 years to build. Another boondoggle, first we as tax payers get to pay for the road, then as drivers we get to pay another tax to ride on it.. govt at its finest

  4. When I worked for Franklin County 20 years ago, the State was publishing notices to local gummints that 75% of bridges & overpasses needed repairs - statewide. I can only imagine it's gotten worse, not better.

  5. I thought all these infrastructures projects were "shovel ready". He borrowed trillions for this and all that money disappeared.


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