London Bridge isn’t falling down. Mississippi’s spans are.
The Wall Street Journal reported today that Gov. Phil Bryant ordered 102 bridges in The Magnolia State closed because they “create extreme peril to the safety of persons and property.” Ferry boat operators, rejoice.
Mississippi though isn’t the only state with crumbling bridges, tunnels, roads and airports. The American Society of Civil Engineers’ latest “Infrastructure Report Card” grades the US network a D+. It estimates $125B is needed to fix the nation’s bridges.
President Trump is juggling a lot of balls these days (e.g., Stormy Daniels, FBI “raids” on his personal lawyer’s office/hotel room, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, Syrian missile strikes, China trade war).
Infrastructure isn’t high on his “must-do” list, though Trump promised on the campaign trail that he would strap on his builder’s hat and create a network of roads, tunnels, bridges and airports that was second to none.
The president did propose a $200B infrastructure program that was loaded with federal incentives (rather than cash) to encourage states to raise their own funds for programs. That proposal was DOA.
National infrastructure czar DJ Gribbin exited the White House April 3 to pursue other opportunities.
That departure gives the president the chance to start from scratch. Democrats have long supported public works projects. They would join with Republicans to support a program proposed by Trump that put federal dollars to work.
Leadership from the White House is all that is needed. The president needs to put down his cellphone, stay away from Twitter and get to work on fixing the country’s infrastructure.
It would help to rebuild the his approval rating.