The crumbling of an Interstate bridge in downtown Minneapolis brings to the forefront the Dirty Little Secret of the American Urban Core: Our national infrastructure is neglected and deconstructing and instead of rebuilding it we are rebuilding Iraq’s infrastructure.
The sad, hard, thing about the Minneapolis collapse —
other than the wholly inappropriate comment by a newscaster saying,
“The bridge looks just like 9/11” when nothing can compare to that
incredible sinking of hopes and promises — is not just the unnecessary
loss of life but the fact that for many years city elders knew the
bridge was unreliable and in danger of catastrophic demise.
Unfortunately, Minneapolis is not unique in big city manipulation of citizen expectation and prayers.
Bridges and roads across America are decaying at a terrifying rate and
yet no one wants to step up and pay for repair or new construction.
one has the guts to stand up and remedy the decaying infrastructure by
telling the truth, “We need to raise taxes to maintain our bridges and
roads and sewer systems.”
And so — in that cowardly, tax-abating void — we all retreat into benign sleepwalking waiting for the next inevitable crumbling to sound down around us.
so we all bide our time, waiting for the next collapse, and we all
cross our national fingers and toes and hearts that the next victim of
ongoing, expected and necessary urban decay won’t be someone we know