Bridges

18 09 2008

Why is it that most of our bridges that were built in the 1930s and 40s are becoming deficient and there is no money to fix them? Its not like all of a sudden we woke up one morning and *gasp* all of a sudden this bridge is 75 years old. This money should have been set aside years ago. I think that each bridge built should have a trust fund set up at the time of construction. Factor $5 million into the original cost and put that $5 million into this trust fund. At first, when the bridge is new and requires little maintenance, this money would just grow on interest. Then, as work is required, this money will already be there and we won’t have to wait for the State to do anything. Furthermore, if there are tolls collect on this bridge, the toll money should be put into this fund and all expenses can come out of the fund.
The Math: If you start with $5 million dollars, you anticipate a 1% return, and you deposit a meager $200,000 annually, you will have over $278 million after 75 years, well enough to built a replacement. If you can up the annual deposit (paid via tolls) to $500,000, the total after only 50 years in nearly $300 million. If you can make it 75 years for the lifespan of the bridge, the $679 million available at the end will be more than sufficient to build a DAMN fine bridge.
Do this for each and every bridge we build from now on and we will never have a bridge problem again. We can also make it a felony for any lawmaker who attempts to dip in for other projects. Perhaps we can require an E-Z Pass in every new vehicle as well so that in the future we will not need to stop for tolls.

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