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How We Can Strengthen America’s Infrastructure Against Future Natural Disasters
Road and Bridge Infrastructure
The crumbling state of America’s road and bridge infrastructure was horrifically demonstrated when the I-35W Bridge collapsed in Minneapolis in 2007, killing 13 people. The sad fact that is that most of America’s infrastructure, which was built in the 1950s, is now coming to the end of its useful life. Unfortunately, the cost to modernize it could run as high as $2.3 trillion. However, at present, the amount of investment that goes into infrastructure is only 2.4% of the GDP – which is half of what it was 50 years ago.
However President Obama has made some progress. On March 22, 2012, he issued a new executive order to “improve performance of federal permitting and review of infrastructure projects” – however the order has been criticized for being short on substance and long on studies and steering committees. It is hoped that in the near future the President will be able to implement infrastructure projects without congressional approval and without waiting months for a steering committee plan.
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