One of the most lasting images from June is of the utter devastation caused by a tanker truck fire on interstate highway 95 (I-95) in Philadelphia. The fire collapsed the northbound side of a bridge on I-95 near Philadelphia and compromised the integrity of the southbound side such that it is also no longer suitable to handle traffic. Public officials are scrambling to estimate the costs and timeline of repair while travelers are scrambling to find alternatives to this key stretch of the nation’s longest north-to-south highway.
While this fire exposed weaknesses in I-95’s foundations, it also brought to light some shameful and longstanding public policy failures in the United States. Despite infrastructure being a frequent topic of conversation on Capitol Hill, it is often used as a trojan horse to advance other priorities. This neglect has led to highways, bridges, and tunnels across the United States severely lacking in structural integrity.
Late in 2021, lawmakers in Washington passed the much-vaunted “infrastructure bill” into law. The bill totaled over $1 trillion in investment. However, traditional infrastructure only received $127 billion – a little over ten percent – of the bill’s total funding. This is despite President Biden claiming that the passage