Nearly a century ago the United States was the acknowledged world leader when people compared the infrastructure of various nations. America’s infrastructure system was the unbridled envy of people from Europe to the Pacific. Today circumstances are different. Now we hear politicians, planners and average citizens complain about the current state of the infrastructure. Some forget that many of these structures have lived well beyond the length of time and level of use for which they were designed. And those complaints are quickly set aside when people are told the cost and effort needed to bring the infrastructure up to snuff.
The problem is that our highways and bridges, railways and pipelines are not as easily repairable or replaceable as our cars or home accessories. A person can contact AutoZone and get brand new parts and fluids that help keep his or her vehicle operating smoothly, safely and economically for a decade. And that can be done economically when they use a Groupon coupon or promo code that enables them to take advantage of discounts ranging up to 20% of the list prices. It is much more difficult – and expensive! – to repair or replace century-old roadways, pipelines or outdated railway bridges and tunnels. Look at how long it took for England and France to complete the Chunnel beneath the English Channel. And Switzerland and Italy are still working on new tunnels beneath the Alps to replace those dug in the 19th century. Most of these projects have required more than a decade of lead time in planning, design, and financing before the first spade of earth was turned.
America has been fortunate. The need for employment caused by the Depression of the 1930’s led to the initiation of many major projects which ultimately changed this nation’s entire character. Many iconic structures like the Golden Gate Bridge, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Hoover Dam and Grand Coulee Dam owe their existence in part to the desire to get people back to work. Today a similar national motivation is required to begin the building of a new infrastructure for future generations. That requires the long-term foresight and commitment this nation has shown before. It will result in a new population buying parts and supplies from AutoZone with Groupons so their latest model vehicles can use these new facilities when they are ready to serve future generations.