Letter published in Baltimore Sun--August 6, 2007
My heart goes out to the families of the victims of the tragic bridge collapse in Minneapolis ("Bridge Collapses," Aug. 2). According to engineers, there are nearly 150,000 other bridges in the U.S. that are experiencing structural deterioration in various degrees mainly as a result of their age and unforeseen increased traffic stress placed on them.
A recent report from the Federal Highway Administration estimates it would cost $188 billion to repair and rehabilitate all the structurally deficient and functionally obsolete bridges in the country. But that money cannot be found because we are mired in a ridiculously costly war in Iraq that, according to projections, may ultimately cost the taxpayers over $1 trillion.
The horrible incident in Minneapolis highlights the fact that our tax dollars are being misspent on this futile war, which was launched ostensibly to protect the American people. even as many needed infrastructure repairs have been deferred because of lack of funds.