Monday, November 19, 2012

The US' Infrastructure Is Still In Terrible Shape

Every so often, I like to return to this topic: the rotten state of the US' infrastructure.  I realize it's old news and no one in Washington really cares, but the US does need serious work in this area.

Europeans visiting the Northeastern United States – and many parts of the East Coast — can show their children what Europe’s infrastructure looked like during the 1960s.


Malte Lehming, opinion-page editor of the Berlin newspaper Tagesspiegel, noted in his essay “Welcome to America. Take a Number” in The New York Times:
I spent half a day hunting for a store with flashlights in stock, because a storm had knocked out our power. In five decades in Germany I have never experienced a single power failure, because the power lines are usually underground and well maintained.
Imagine that – life without power failures! In much of the Northeastern United States – and perhaps in many other parts of the country as well – lengthy power disruptions are part of the American way of life. In Princeton, they occur somewhere in the township after almost every thunderstorm or snowstorm, as branches snap from trees and take down vulnerable power lines.

Last fall, for example, after a brief storm dumped wet snow on trees, many parts of New Jersey, Princeton included, were without power for about a week. Parts of Connecticut were without power for more than two weeks.