An Associated Press analysis of 607,380 bridges in the most recent federal National Bridge Inventory showed that 65,605 were classified as "structurally deficient" and 20,808 as "fracture critical." Of those, 7,795 were both - a combination of red flags that experts say indicate significant disrepair and similar risk of collapse.
Extra Extra : Infrastructure
The Orlando Sentinel completed its three-part series “Blood In the Streets” this week, examining Central Florida’s chronic, tragic record of pedestrian crashes, the worst in the country. Using state and federal data, reporters Scott Powers and Arelis Hernandez reviewed thousands of pedestrian crashes to target scores of interviews. Their findings: The problems are rooted in many decades of sprawling development and road planning and a careless culture. Drivers who kill pedestrians face life-changing grief and guilt. Victims and families find little support and no closure from the justice system. And no transportation plans address the ultimate problem: high speed.
The U.S. military has erected a 64,000-square-foot headquarters in Afghanistan at a cost of $34 million, but has no plans to use it. Senior military officials told The Washington Post that they insisted they did not need the facility and see no point to moving into it as they withdraw forces from the area. Military officials told the Post the headquarters is representative of Pentagon mismanagement, which has resulted in costly projects finishing up throughought the region with no troops to use them.
“The Bee compared that Caltrans study against about 115,000 pages of construction and inspection records and found the conclusions were based on wrong information. The records show that the agency misstated in its report the extent of water contamination and its own inspection efforts. Conclusions that corrosion caused no harm were based partly on underestimates about how long tendons were left exposed and vulnerable, and on suspect testing methods.”
"Trusting your child with someone else is one of the hardest things that a parent has to do—and in the United States, it’s harder still, because American day care is a mess. About 8.2 million kids—about 40 percent of children under five—spend at least part of their week in the care of somebody other than a parent." Read the full invesitgation from the New Republic here.
"Crisscrossing Michigan are more than 3,100 miles of old wrought- and cast-iron natural-gas pipelines -- the type federal regulators consider the most at risk of corrosion, cracking and catastrophic rupturing. The state's two largest utilities have replaced less than 15% of these pipelines -- 542 miles -- in the past decade," according to an investigation by the Detroit Free Press.
The Chicago Tribune
F in attendance for city schools
A Chicago Tribune investigation analyzed internal student-level attendance data from the Chicago Public Schools and found that nearly 32,000 K-8 grade students — or roughly 1 in 8 — missed four weeks or more of class during the 2010-11 year, while the cash-strapped district does little to stem a devastating problem. To assess the total number of missed classroom days per student, the Tribune analyzed both excused and unexcused absences, as well as gaps in enrollment. The paper found striking racial disparities in elementary attendance. Youth with learning and emotional disabilities also ...
"The Lansing (Mich.) State Journal spent more than two months gathering and reviewing public records to determine how city leaders in East Lansing handled construction of a downtown mixed-use building, not far from Michigan State University, after a portion of the unfinished building collapsed and it was discovered that the developer had started construction without a building permit and added an unauthorized fifth story."
"A USA Today investigation reveals that seven decades after scientists came to the US during World War II to create plutonium for the first atomic bomb, a new generation is struggling with an even more daunting task: cleaning up the radioactive mess.
Several senior engineers cited design problems that could bring the treatment plant's operations to a halt before much of the waste is treated."