America’s Failing Infrastructure
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Owning the world’s greatest infrastructure system, the US has failed to adapt to changing times and technologies to keep that infrastructure viable for its citizens or competitive against its international partners. The cost to individual productivity, national gross GDP, and international trade are high along with the risk of infrastructure failure and cost to human life.
The US has 4 million miles of roads, enough to circle the earth 160 times. Over 607,480 bridges in the national bridge inventory and many additional bridges under 20 feet. Additionally, there are 150,000 miles of rail, still, to this day the largest and busiest rail network in the world, with 360 ports and ships 1.73billion in goods, or 11% of the GDP. Airports in the US transport 640 million passengers and 19.6 billion pounds of goods (2013).
Over time the US has failed to adapt. By 2010, America wasn’t even in the top ten for infrastructure competitiveness.
Top 5 infrastructures around the world
#1 Hong Kong, #2 Germany, #3 UAE, #4 France, #5 Singapore, #6 Switzerland, #7 Netherlands, #8 UK, #9 Canada….#15 was the US.
The personal and national costs were high. Even with one of the highest household earnings, the US spends more on transportation than any other developed nation. Just to give you an idea, Europe spends 13%, with Canada at 14%, Japan at 12%, and the US at 17.69% of household earnings.
17.69% to an average household income of $50,054 is $8,810.00 per family.
Due to the state of our (The United States) infrastructure, this equates to 4.8 billion hours wasted in traffic jams in 2008 which is approximately 3.9 billion gallons of gas. Wasted productivity directly affects GDP.
The environmental costs of all of those idling cars are hard to imagine. In dollars and sense that costs about $200 billion or 1.6% of US GDP in losses each year.
Are we doing enough to remedy the condition of US infrastructure?
Not according to the percentage of GDP that is being spent on maintenance and infrastructure.
Are we doing enough to remedy the situation? Not according to the % of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) being spent on maintenance and infrastructure.
For example, the US spends.06% of its GDP on the maintenance of infrastructure whereas the UK spends 1.15%, Australia 2.4%, Spain 1.24%, etc. This needs to be remedied and fast if the US is to keep up as an economic superpower.
There are 210 million trips taken daily across deficient bridges in our 102 largest cities. 1/4 of US bridges are functionally obsolete or structurally deficient. This is according to the 2017 Infrastructure report card put out by the American Association of Civil Engineers the US infrastructure received a grade of D+. Read more
To better help us maintain the infrastructure we need to update our 50-year-old manual and subjective inspections in order to better understand the current condition of our infrastructure. Utilizing modern technology and robotics can help infrastructure asset owners better budget for repairs and help extend the service life of critical infrastructure assets worldwide.
Robotic Guy Wire Inspections
Guy wires are constantly under tremendous stress with additional stress caused by their constant motion. These wire ropes that are helping to support these structures are continuously exposed to a myriad of hostile elements throughout the entire life of their service. Properly inspecting these wire ropes can provide deterioration over time to help know when they should be serviced or replaced.
Flare Stack Guy Wire & Wire Rope Inspection Service
A guy-wire, guy-line, or guy-rope, also known as simply a guy, is a tensioned cable designed to add stability to a free-standing structure. They are used commonly in flare stacks, ship masts, radio masts, wind turbines, and more.
Infraspect has taken the technology to a new level with a robotic guy wire and wire rope inspection service. Ropescan® both views the exterior of the steel cable and peers through the cable to locate loss of metallic area and corrosion. Know when to replace your wire rope and save millions in unnecessary replacements or worse potential disaster.
Cable-Stayed Bridge Inspection Service
Do away with lane closures and heavy equipment on the bridge. Stop traffic delays. Current bridge cable-stay bridge inspections have inspectors utilizing bucket trucks (in danger at height) to inspect one side of the exterior of a cable stay.
Infraspect has taken the technology to a new level with devices that can not only inspect the exterior HDPE sheathing but peer through the exterior cable to locate the loss of metallic area/corrosion inside the steel that holds the bridge up