The US’s infrastructure is saying ‘halp.’
Roads, highways, and bridges, oh my. But also airports, power grids, public school buildings, transit systems, wastewater management, dams, and levees.
US infrastructure has a lot of gray hairs. Most of it was built decades ago, and can’t handle a population that’s nearly doubled since the 1960s. Plus, there’s climate change, which has been tied to more extreme weather events like hurricanes and storms. Problem, because dams and levees are straining to manage intense flooding, which puts communities at risk and can lead to hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
Yes. Every few years, the American Society of Civil Engineers grades US infrastructure. Right now, infrastructure has the shape of a D+ on its forehead. Here are some of the issues that come from repeatedly hitting ‘remind me later’ on infrastructure:
Public safety...It’s estimated that poor road designs and conditions contribute to thousands of deaths each year. Hundreds more reportedly die, get hurt, or fall ill each year due to failures with bridges, dams, and roads. Today, more than 47,000 bridges in the US are considered “structurally deficient.”
That means they’re safe to use but need repairs.
The economy...loses more than $120 billion a year due to traffic delays. And $35 billion a year because of airport delays, in part due to infrastructure issues related to things like air traffic control, airport operations, and heavy traffic. Meanwhile, 19 million Americans – mainly in rural and lower-income areas – don’t have high-speed Internet.
It is...sort of. We get into that, why there’s been such a holdup, and the impact on you in theSkimm app. Every week, the app goes deep on a different news topic to give you the context you need to understand the headlines. Download the app now, and you get the first week free.
Sign up for the Daily Skimm email newsletter.
Delivered to your inbox every morning and prepares you for your day in minutes.
Climate change news can be hard to keep up with. And there’s been a lot of it lately. So we asked our app users to text us their biggest questions this week. We put together an exclusive Skimm with the answers. Here’s a preview:
President Trump is now the only sitting US president to meet with a North Korean leader not just once, but twice.
The Supreme Court is ready to take on more cases for its 2019-2020 term. But the 2020 election has led to calls for reform on the bench.