YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
Rural infrastructure needs attention, repairs
By Gary Joiner
The American Society of Civil Engineers gives a grade each year to America’s infrastructure. This year, our infrastructure got a C-. It’s the kind of report card that makes you nervous to bring home.
Examples of infrastructure include transportation systems, communication networks, sewage, water and electric systems.
A grade of C- doesn’t instill a lot of confidence, and rural America sees the poor conditions every day.
The engineer’s report found 42% of our bridges are at least 50 years old, and 7.5% percent of the bridges are structurally deficient.
To put that into perspective, over 178 million trips are made across structurally deficient bridges in America every day.
Along our rivers and streams, nearly 40,000 miles of levees protect our communities and farmland. Waterways are also essential to moving agricultural products to major ports. The engineers gave our inland waterways a D+, estimating nearly $7 billion in backlogged projects.
There’s a lot of work ahead, and Congress is discussing. Rural communities and farmers and ranchers deserve more than a barely passing grade when it comes to infrastructure. We can do better.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
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