Editorial: No surprise: State gets bad grades for infrastructure
BY World's Editorials Writers
Friday, February 22, 2013
2/22/13 at 6:57 AM
It will come as no shock to most Oklahomans that the state's infrastructure is well below par. Any dramatic improvement is unlikely.
The Oklahoma division of the American Society of Civil Engineers issued the 2013 Report Card for Oklahoma's Infrastructure, and the grades were not good.
Eight categories were graded: aviation, roads, bridges, dams, levees, rail, transit and water/wastewater. In six of the eight - bridges, roads, dams, levees, transit and water - the state received a D. The good news is that the state received a B for its rail system and a C-plus for aviation.
The grades on roads and bridges come as no surprise to anyone who drives the state's roads and highways. Tulsa has committed a great deal of money to bring its city streets up to standard. Still, there is much work left to do.
The state has put some money into the repair of bridges, but it will take time and more money to fix that problem sufficiently.
Fortunately for Tulsa, the work on Interstate 44, long overdue, is nearing completion. What, however, does the future hold for further work, considering the mood in Congress for such funding?
Oklahoma is not alone, of course. The entire nation faces an infrastructure crisis. Repairing the nation's infrastructure ought to be high on the country's list of things to do. It means jobs. Such work is not minimum-wage work; it would put money into the pockets of thousands of Americans who, in turn, would buy homes and cars.
Some members of Congress continue to consider such work as "pork" and refuse to budge. The looming sequester, if it goes into effect, will all but stop work on the country's infrastructure.
Oklahoma wants to attract new business. The governor says it can do that by cutting taxes. But companies don't locate to states whose roads and bridges are falling apart, and it takes money - taxes - to repair that infrastructure.
If we don't fix up our own house, no one will want to move into the neighborhood.
Original Print Headline: No surprise