Southern California’s Poorly Maintained Bridges Could Finally Be Repaired

April 2, 2021 Updated: April 8, 2021

Commentary

Several Southern California bridges in desperate need of repair could finally be getting the attention they need.

President Joe Biden’s administration recently began releasing details of its $3 trillion “infrastructure” plan, including a proposal to spend part of the money fixing “the ten most economically-significant bridges in the country in need of reconstruction. It also will repair the worst 10,000 smaller bridges, providing critical linkages to communities.”

The White House has not released what 10 big bridges it has in mind.

However, on its “Most Traveled U.S. Structurally Deficient Bridges” report for 2020, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association said six of the top 10 most-travelled bridges in the U.S. in need of repair are in Los Angeles or Orange counties.

A seventh California bridge on the list was in Alameda County near San Francisco.

Some one-third to half of the Biden administration’s “infrastructure” plan funds will be spent on what has traditionally been called infrastructure: airports, roads, bridges, airports, and more.

The remaining amount of spending will be used for home health-care, early age education, incentives for consumers to buy electric vehicles and other non-traditional forms of “infrastructure”.

Though the administration will be touting the sort of short term, government-funded “job creation” most economists like to see during recessions, infrastructure spending does often have long-term benefits if spent well. Connecting economically vibrant areas with improved transportation, for example, will increase commerce between those regions and increase economic benefit for all.

The administration’s understanding of “most economically significant” bridges is not yet disclosed.

However, there is now hope that California’s most travelled bridges in need of repair may finally be getting the repairs they need.

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Tim Shaler is a professional investor and economist based in Southern California. He is a regular columnist for The Epoch Times, where he exclusively provides some of his original economic analysis.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.