Thursday, Jan 18, 2018
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EDITORIAL

Infrastructure ought to be next

Bridge-Collapse-Pa

The underside of the Liberty Bridge, a deck truss bridge that crosses the Monongahela River into Pittsburgh.

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The American Society of Civil Engineers grades the nation’s infrastructure D+. 

The nation’s airports are aged and need $100 billion in investment to be brought to the level of present need and current technology.

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The country’s bridges are dangerously decrepit. About 40 percent of them are 50 years old, or older.

President Trump huddled at Camp David with Republican congressional leaders last weekend to set priorities. Infrastructure must be at, or near, the top of the list.

Infrastructure is an issue the President ran on and one he knows well.

It is an issue — like opioids — that ought to be bipartisan.

The country could benefit enormously from some bipartisan cooperation and progress, both materially and psychologically.

Both parties would benefit from some tangible legislative progress at a moment when faith in Congress is at a historic low, and very little seems to get done. Washington needs some goodwill, and it needs to put some points on the board. 

Politicians have been talking about rebuilding the physical structure of the nation since Bill Clinton first ran for president in 1992. Yet nothing substantial has been done. Indeed, little has been done for the nation’s infrastructure since the interstate highway system was created by President Dwight Eisenhower.

That effort remains a big part of Ike’s legacy. Rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure could be a big part of President Trump’s legacy. 

Finally, the country cannot afford to wait for a catastrophe, like a collapsed bridge.

Here’s hoping infrastructure is number one, two, or three on the Camp David “to do” list.

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