Minnesota Bridge Collapse

The bridge collapse in Minnesota last week was a terrible tragedy that disrupted many families’ lives; my thoughts and prayers go out to all those who were affected. It also exposed the need for more prudent planning when it comes to transportation and infrastructure.
What the tragedy should not be is an opportunity for political gamesmanship. Unfortunately, we are already seeing bits of that from some of our elected officials. I was disheartened to hear members of the press and members of Congress tie this tragedy to President Bush or the Iraq War, neither of which was responsible for the bridge’s collapse.
This is just one example of the infrastructure improvements we must make. Our water systems and sewer systems, for example, are badly in need of repair. Most of the New York City water lines were laid when Abraham Lincoln was president. The financial implications of these needs are huge, and must be part of a national debate because no one entity of government is going to be able to pay for it all.
If anything, the bridge’s collapse and the sudden realization that our nation’s infrastructure is quite literally crumbling, should show us that the way our elected officials appropriate transportation funds is a very serious matter upon which lives depend. This tragedy is an example for why the transportation appropriations process must be free of politics and focused on those bridges and roads that actually need fixing. Politicians must resist the temptation to politicize transportation spending, especially since we know that lives are on the line.

Minnesota Bridge Collapse