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mono | GZERO World

Ian Explains: Will US infrastructure finally be fixed?

At 6:05pm on a sweltering August evening in 2007, rush hour traffic was crawling across Minneapolis’ I-35 bridge. Then, the bridge began to shake.

Thirteen people died and 140 more were injured when Minnesota’s third-busiest bridge collapsed, plunging vehicles ten stories down into the rushing Mississippi river and leaving one school bus with 63 children teetering against a guardrail. An NTSB investigation later attributed the collapse to 300 tons of construction materials that had been placed on a 40-year-old design flaw in the bridge’s original construction. But while the flaw had gone undetected for decades, inspectors HAD rated the bridge in poor condition for 17 straight years.

The truth is that bridges in America fall down all the time, Ian Bremmer explains on GZERO World.

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The road to repair: Pete Buttigieg & crumbling US infrastructure | GZERO World

The road to repair: Pete Buttigieg & crumbling US infrastructure

There's no sugarcoating it. America needs work. Not just when it comes to the state of democracy, either. A 2022 report found that 43,000 US bridges are “structurally deficient.” The report also found that those same bridges are crossed 168 million times a day. At the current rate, it would take 30 years to fix all of the country’s structurally deficient bridges. Do you feel lucky?

It's not a question Americans particularly want to ask themselves on every morning commute or summer road trip. The richest country in the history of the world should be able to keep its infrastructure updated and its roads intact. Globally, of course, the number of faulty bridges is much higher, but at least here in the United States, things may be starting to change. On November 6, 2021, Congress passed the Biden administration’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which includes $550 billion for America’s roads, bridges, mass transit, rail, airports, and ports. On GZERO World, Secretary Pete Buttigieg discusses what he has called "the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the Interstate highway system."

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