My continuing dive into the state of our infrastructure keeps making me want to scream. It isn’t just that we are ignoring our existing infrastructure, (we are ignoring it) we are doing a poor job of building new. While we are apparently building (or maybe rebuilding in this case) roads, we are doing a fairly poor job of it.
So this story from Animal Magnetism: Goodbye, Blue Monday. Which is about the sorry state of Colorado’s Department of Transportation (CDOT). (Normally I would reference the main article, and give Animal a Hat Tip, but the “media organization” in question is really annoying me, so, “No
soup for you!”)
One example cited is the collapse of a highway bridge, 5 years after it was built. Colorado’s Highway 36. It seems that in 2013 Colorado changed the law for building roads from “lowest bid” to “best value.” So how is that working out?
Consider that the Brooklyn Bridge (which currently carries 6 lanes of traffic) openend May of 1883, and the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937. Or there is Anji Bridge, which is 1400 years old. (Reference. And the entry in the Wiki.)
Then to fix the problems in CDOT, the governor appointed a new head of the agency, 35-year-old Shoshana Lew. Her greatest qualification seems to be that she was on Michelle Obama’s staff. Ms Obama apparently called in a favor with the governor. Ms. Lew replaces a 56-year-old man with an extensive background in civil engineering. Lew has a master’s degree in history.
So, in other words, Governor Polis has appointed an inexperienced, unqualified political crony of Michelle Obama to oversee Colorado’s collapsing road network.
And while she apparently – as stated on an interview with NPR – is all in favor of bike lanes, and electric vehicles, actually addressing the gridlock that is the state of Colorado’s highway system, not to mention that it’s crumbling around the edges, doesn’t seem to be on her radar. There are a large number of vacancies for snowplow drivers as winter storms are already hitting the high country, so that probably isn’t good either.