Hedwig A. Murphy

With the recent tragedy of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge collapse in Minnesota, the state of the nation’s transportation infrastructure was thrust into the national spotlight. Thirteen people were killed and over one hundred injured when a steel truss arch bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River outside of Minneapolis in August of 2007. News of the accident and the resulting death and destruction brought great consternation from the American public and pledges from political leaders for increased transportation funding across the country. In response, Congress initially proposed an ambitious funding bill which would have devoted $25 billion to repairing transportation infrastructure across the country. In short order, however, the bill was reduced to a $2 billion proposal in the House and was ultimately never passed by the Senate. Although the proposal is periodically reintroduced, it appears that at least for the time being, the political impetus for sweeping reinvestment in the nation’s transportation infrastructure does not exist at the national level. This is troubling given that every recent assessment of the nation’s transportation infrastructure has raised major concerns throughout all regions of the country and across particular types of infrastructure. View More