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post #81 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevmatic View Post

Germany's population density is over five times the US's, and Japans is almost 10 times the US's.

They both have a fraction of the amount of roads as the US and a LOT more people to pay for them, mile for mile.

Just sayin'.

They both have the 'benefit' of having been largely redesigned and rebuilt following the war, too. While the doesn't excuse poor craftsmenship that may have been present in the 50s or whatever, newer infrastructure almost always has lower maintenance cost than older.

I walked past a bridge being inspected here just yesterday. They cleaned the paint off of large portions of a chain suspension bridge to do it, and a boomlift on a barge in the river.

A number of countries have greater road per capita and I've seen US roads and they are still better. No excuses.
Switzerland wasn't touched by WWII nor was New Zealand infrastructure wise.

Not to mention I'm actually talking more about urban infrastructure.
Edited by chinesekiwi - 6/7/13 at 6:41am
post #82 of 89
Don't forget Germany is Germany. US States very greatly. Driving from Virginia to Maryland the material of roads literally changes as you cross the border on some highways. Maryland highways have this red color to them. Then Virginia to Pennsylvania the way they lay the road changes. Virginia highways are generally smooth, while Penn's highways you feel the sections.
So many variables.

What is so amazing though is that if you travel down some less frequented highways the condition of the road can be excellent, even in the middle of nowhere, but as soon as you hit local traffic the condition is noticeably more degraded.
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post #83 of 89
Population density is a big factor here in the states. Two of the largest DoT's employ fund distribution for improvement projects based solely on economic potential and population density. Texas has a big problem with the current model. Taxes are collected and given to TXDoT as a lump sum. The funds are then used fund projects (improvements and maintenance) without regard to where the money came from. You end up with large disparities across the state. I mean compare Houston's roads to Refugio. Same things happen at the national scale to some extent.

I'd love for our roads and infrastructure to be as nice as Japan's or Germany's but we don't have the resources to do that. If we built our interstates to the same standards as the autobahn then we would still be building and paying for it or have 1/3 of what we do. It isn't economical or even a good idea to do.

We had to build a lot of infrastructure very quickly. Really for the most part our infrastructure was well designed and would be more than adequate if properly maintained. There has been more than enough funding for maintenance but funding mechanisms divert funding to improvements because it will increase revenue. Given the choice we chose improvements over maintenance because the improvements will get a net increase while maintenance will be a net loss(short term any ways).

Our standards for infrastructure are more than adequate for locations. Because of that though we think it will last longer without maintenance. Personally I don't know how someone reached that idea but every decision maker I've met has thought that. Our problems are not low standards but poor funding mechanisms and lack of maintenance. Very few things here (no more than anywhere else) are poorly designed or not up to the task when maintained correctly.
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post #84 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemos360 View Post

I think our bridges are doing just fine comparably.



That's Tower Bridge.... London Bridge was purchased and moved to texas IIRC.

He thought he'd bought Tower Bridge..... LoL

dunx

P.S. My village is bisected by the main Leeds/London rail-line, the bridge has a 2.5T limit because of rust ! But it was built by the Victorians over a century ago !
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post #85 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2002dunx View Post

He thought he'd bought Tower Bridge..... LoL

A common myth.

Robert McCulloch knew exactly what he was buying, he even went to survey it a few times before it was taken apart, stone by stone, and shipped over to Arizona.
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post #86 of 89
What crazy people do with their bridges...

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post #87 of 89
I hate articles like this. Someone who doesn't know the subject writes an article and more misinformation ensues. The national media is horrible at this, and the internet is no better. "Functionally obsolete" could be as harmless as the bridge's shoulders are narrower than is required for a new design. That has nothing to due with its danger or adequacy to the public, yet many perfectly adequate bridges have this designation because of that one issue.

People think this I-5 bridge failed because of a design issue or prior structural damage, but in truth it was a truck driver hitting it. (And for those blaming the state entirely, the truck driver is supposed to have a pilot car for an oversized load, so there's still no excuse as far as I'm concerned for the truck driver to have hit the bridge.)

The article states that the I-35W bridge was a flawed design, but that doesn't tell the whole story. The design was flawed because of a mistake, not because of the guidelines used to make the design. Additional construction loads on the bridge at the time of collapse made the situation worse.

There are always a number of factors that play into things. All the misinformation plaguing this thread, and the people supposing things on subjects in which they have no knowledge or experience, makes my head hurt.
Edited by stargate125645 - 6/7/13 at 11:45am
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post #88 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post

The Army Corp of Engineers rated US infrastructure a D- (and now a D+).
The infrastructure of the US, particularly in the older eastern states, has been significantly neglected and is hampering your economy immensely.
Without adequate infrastructure, no economy. Pure and simple. The cost upgrade infrastructure to adequate roading / transport standards like in Central and Western Europe (German civil engineering building techniques and transport logistics are absolutely world leading) or building structure standards like in earthquake-prone Japan and here in New Zealand (which we both have the strictest building codes in the world [and we bumped them up even more post Chch quake [see sig]. California's earthquake proof standards are significantly lower than both Japan's and New Zealand's) is MASSIVE for the US.
If you don't follow building standards, maintain them and strictly enforce them, people die. Pure and simple. Most, if not all of the deaths from my home city's quakes were either from old masonry from historic buildings falling on people or a building that shouldn't of seen the light of day multiple times if it wasn't for total negligence every single time.

Estimated cost: US $3.6 trillion dollars by 2020.

http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/


Since you seem to be ignoring the "elephant" in the room so-to-speak, Ill go ahead and point it out to you. You cant compare 2 countries that are barely the size of 1 of our 50 states, also as someone already said, population density.

US has 3,536,290 sq miles of land to maintain. Also has at least 6,506,204 km of road networks.
Germany has 134,623 sq miles of land to maintain. Has about 644,480km of road networks.
New Zealand has 101,330 sq of land to maintain. Last but not least 93,911km of road networks, oh wait.

While I'm all for upgrading and taking care of our infrastructure here, I can understand at the very least logically that it might be a a bit harder then just "mimicking" and "learning" from nations with a fraction of our networks. I would also like to take this chance to point out the Japan and Cali comparison.

Japan's GDP is around $4.7 trillion as a nation with a land size of 145,925 sq mi and 1,210,251 km of road way to maintain.
California GDP is about $1.9 trillion as a state with a land size of 163,696 sq mi and 3,758,500 km of road way to maintain(I did the math on this so might not be 100% accurate but its roughly in that ball park)

I'm not looking to start some pointless debate. I'm merely trying to point out problems of comparing other nations of little to no infrastructure compared to the US. Also a note before someone points out. I did not compare interstate networks as most bridges are a state matter and even on that note the US far surpasses second place for first(not even close).

Thus, my point is; Its easy to say we should do that, or this, like those guys "over there". But an entirely different problem when your talking the shear size of the US infrastructure. Also sensationalism is bad for everyone. thumb.gif
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post #89 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seid Dark View Post

Usually collapses like this happen in poor and corrupt third world hellholes, I guess USA is not any better. They don't have or don't want to use tax dollars for inspecting and repairing bridges and roads before they crumble.

If you guys seen the bridge I drove over for 20 freaking years, your mouth would have fallen open! It got so bad that the concrete had eroded away to a point that the re-bar reinforced steel was showing very clearly up and down the whole damn bridge! It was finally after an amazing 5 years of being worried of the bridge collapsing that they fixed it, finally! So, as to what you people talk about, yeah, the US Government will NOT care about your bridges in a down turn economy...

I see a new horizon, maybe one where Americans will become dependent upon the Internet to the point that transportation ceases mostly, of course I could be wrong, but I doubt it...
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