San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge has been closed indefinitely after a three-foot crossbeam and twenty feet of tie rods fell into traffic Tuesday. According to SFGate.com, the failures were part of a repair to the eastern section completed over the Labor Day weekend. The debris damaged three cars but injured only one driver. The closure dramatically impacted this morning's Bay Area commute, causing BART to run extra trains and commuters to seek alternate routes.
According to a 2007 report by the Congressional Research Service, of 600,000 US public road bridges in 12% or 74,000, are classified as structurally deficient. 2007 rates of investment would roughly halve the backlog of deficient bridges by 2024; reducing it to near zero would require an estimated annual spending rate of $12.4 billion at all levels of government in 2004 dollars, according to the CRS.
According to the National Priorities Project, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have cost us $925 billion since 2001. What do you think should be done about the condition of our national infrastructure? Where should the money come from?