Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Chorus of warning

    Bridges have fallen down in some parts of the U.S. because of the nation’s failure to repair or to replace them.
    Now Blaine County Commissioners say the county can’t afford to keep its road system in good repair and will let some paved roads revert to gravel. They may also consider cutting back snow plowing.
    The announcement during a budget meeting should have been no surprise to the citizens of a nation where engineers have been raising the alarm about the nation’s failing infrastructure for decades.
    The American Society of Civil Engineers says that 1 in 9 of the nation’s 607,380 bridges are structurally deficient. The average age of bridges is 42 years and the society says bridges are generally designed to last for about 50 years.
    Locally, the county roads budget is facing shrinking revenue from gas taxes in Idaho, where the Legislature has failed to raise them for nearly 20 years. Fees from new developments have also declined.
    Former Republican Gov. Phil Batt chided the Legislature last week, saying that the 25-cents-per gallon tax set during his administration in 1996 was more than 20 percent of the price of gas at the time and that if it had remained the same, it would be 76 cents per gallon today.
    If the nation can’t fix its failing bridges even in heavily traveled urban areas, we doubt anyone is going to care if roads in Blaine County turn to dust—except the people who live near them or use them to travel to recreation sites.
    Heavily traveled dirt and gravel roads are anything but romantic. They’re unhealthy, Dust Bowl-dangerous axle-eaters that signal the decline of a once proud and prosperous county and state. As for the bridges that are cracking up, they are a Greek chorus of warning about what may lie ahead.

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.