We just took a road trip from El Paso, to San Antonio and then, to Austin, Texas. That means we traveled on two major Interstate highways, I-10 & I-35, plus a number of other roads. I know that there have been many reports over the last few years about our nation's crumbling infrastructure, but apparently nobody gets out on the highways, far enough from any cities, to see for themselves. There are many miles of bad road along both of the freeways we just traveled, and no sign of any efforts to maintain or repair any of the damage to the roadways.
I used to travel Texas a lot as part of my work, back in the 90's, into the early 2000's, and I was accustomed to seeing long stretches of road devoted to "road work ahead," where the roads were being repaired, repaved, and maintained. One famous sign had to do with guardrail damage warnings, and then, the sight of a TxDOT work crew repairing guardrails was a part of every road trip that I made.
We saw a large number of warning signs this trip, but not one single crew was out actually repairing any of frequent damaged areas we saw. The many damaged areas are clearly marked with traffic cones and orange barrels, but no work crews were seen.
I lost count of the pot holes very early in our first day on the road. And, I found myself constantly changing lanes, seeking a relatively smooth path. I have to wonder just how long the trucking industry, which is so vital to this nation, can continue to accept this situation. I have never seen so many alligators (the strips of rubber and tire that line the freeway, from truck tires that have literally shredded off the big rigs) as I saw these last few days.
I also wonder where all the money has gone. You know, the significant portion of the price we pay for fuel at the pump, that supposedly goes to the federal highway system, and the fees and taxes and surcharges put on the big rigs for operation in every state? Maybe we have thrown away entirely too much money for pointless wars, and wasteful foreign aid, and for horrendously expensive airplanes that don't even work? Maybe just a bit too much in corporate welfare? Tax breaks for the rich, anybody?
Don't the rich people realize that without transportation there can be no more income for them? Don't they need good roads, too? So, why isn't anybody stepping up to fix our roads!?