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Gov. Ed Rendell: Rebuild our Infrastructure

Posted by Steve Anderson on Thursday, August 5th, 2010


By Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell

Most schools are out for a summer break after final grades were toted home in students’ backpacks throughout the country. Around the same time, America got its infrastructure report card — and the results aren’t good.

Imagine sitting around the kitchen table reviewing Junior’s grades. His last report card shows a cumulative average of D. As a family, parent, teacher or community, wouldn’t we do all we could to try to help this student improve? Of course we would.

It’s the same with the state of the country’s infrastructure. Consider some of these “grades,” as reported in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ most recent infrastructure report card: transit, D; energy, D+; dams, D; bridges, C; aviation, D; drinking water, D-; hazardous waste, D; schools, D; and wastewater, D-.

I’d say this defines our infrastructure situation as one in crisis.

The record is clear. We’ve received failing marks. How can this be possible? And, given all the other challenges we face as nation, why should we care?

Ask yourself these questions: How much time do you waste stuck in traffic congestion? And how secure are you driving across one out of every four of America’s structurally deficient or functionally obsolete bridges? What about you and your family consuming D-grade water? Would you purchase and eat D-grade food?

Each day, our nation’s old and leaky pipes discharge more than 7 billion gallons of clean drinking water into the ground, and the same old sewer systems release billions of gallons of untreated wastewater into U.S. surface water each year.

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