Infrastructure, putting on the cast.

Infrastructure is like the skeletal structure in your body. It is the stiff base building block which allows softer more fragile organs to grow, allows muscles to form giving us strength and mobility, and provides a general shape and form to our bodies. When a bone breaks, there is little that can be done other than putting that section of the body out of commission. Infrastructure are the simple (or not so simple) rigid structures which act as the backbone for how society runs itself. Freeways are used for speedy and efficient travel, bridges cut across previously impassible bodies of water, and damns hold back millions of gallons of water from washing away everything downstream. These all play an extremely vital and often overlooked role in our everyday lives. Infrastructure is not a sexy thing. Most people would like to pretend that infrastructure, once erected, will last forever. The truth is, infrastructure withers and decays just like any other object found in this world. When these structures end up failing, which they all will at some point, they end up costing millions/billions/trillions of dollars and can cause serious injury or death. The American Society for Civil Engineers has given America a D+ (infrastructurereportcard.org) for overall infrastructure quality. Across the nation infrastructure is overdue for serious repairs or upgrades. In Washington alone poor roadways are costing commuters up to $2.8 billion dollars yearly. Repairing this infrastructure is a monumental task in both cost and design. Closing down a section of infrastructure is like putting a limb in a cast. Sure it’s still there, but for the time being it is unusable affecting the overall utility of the person, or in the case of infrastructure, the utility of society. To truly update and modernize infrastructure, especially in old Seattle areas, the people will need to be the driving force. As a community we need to make these updates a priority and let our leaders know we understand the difficulties and hardships of updating our infrastructure, but we also know it’s a necessity for the health and well being of the city and nation. Just try to avoid putting us in a full body cast please.

Andrew Jones

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