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Unformatted text preview: Our Nations infrastructure affects every single one of us. We have all driven across a bridge and depended on it to hold the weight of our vehicle. As Americans we would never think twice about the safety of the bridge beneath us, because we can assume that someone else has. The sad truth of the matter is that someone who was supposed to be looking out for our infrastructure has been on vacation, in Pennsylvania and across the country. The result has been an alarming deterioration of essential infrastructure that has gone un-checked. These four images illustrate the destruction caused by neglected infrastructure. These first two images are of the I-35 bridge in Minnesota, and the second two are of the failed levees in New Orleans, it is important to remember that tragedies like this could happen right here in PA, as our infrastructure is in no better shape than anywhere else. As I hope you remember from my last speech, the critical infrastructure systems that America depends on, including, roads, bridges, dams, airports, and anything else you can name are in a dire state of disrepair. The American Society of Civil Engineers has found that every critical component of our infrastructure they have studied is in mediocre condition at best, and the majority of our infrastructure systems are in poor condition and are a potential threat to public safety. Congressman James Oberstar from Minnesota, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said of the infrastructure crisis and tragedies like the I-35 bridge collapse in his home state, We react to tragedy, when lives are lost, but we fail to take preemptive action that could prevent these tragic events. To begin I will briefly review the details and statistics of the infrastructure crisis, then propose my plan to solve the problem, and finally discuss the advantages of my solution. Our Nations infrastructure has deteriorated to a point that threatens our quality of life, economic efficiency, and most importantly public safety. Because our transportation infrastructure cannot accommodate the volume of traffic it is burdened with Americans loose 4.2 billion hours annually being stuck in traffic, according to the ASCE. That equals about two extra billion hours annually being stuck in traffic, according to the ASCE....
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- Spring '08
- The American