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Feature Article: ‘National Interstate Infrastructure Awareness Week’ By Todd Reisinger

2006 was the 50th anniversary of the Interstate System. This means that our Interstate System is 59 years old, and that the average bridge life span has been exceeded by 16 years. According to the National Bridge Inventory of The Federal Highway Administration, the nation’s bridges have surpassed their original life span average of 43 years. There is an immediate need for redeveloping the nation’s deteriorating interstate infrastructure. The FHWA has projected that it will take an increase of eight billion dollars of annual investment by 2028 in the nation’s bridges in order to address this problem.

Because the nation’s interstate infrastructure is past its lifetime of usefulness, it needs overhauled. This will require billions of dollars of funding in order to complete by 2028. Since 2000 there have only been a few cases so far within the United States where there have been complete Interstate system bridge failures resulting in deaths. Some of them include:

“In 2004, over three thousand and four hundred foot of a two and a half mile bridge over the Escambia Bay in the Pensacola Florida area collapsed off of Interstate 10.”

“On Augusts 1st 2007 the westbound portion of the Interstate 35 bridge collapsed in Minneapolis, killing 13 people and injuring an additional 145 persons. It was estimated that the bridge was loaded at 575,000 pounds at the time of the collapse, whereas the gussets which failed were rated to hold at half of the weight which the bridge was rated at.”

“In Webbers Falls Oklahoma, 14 people died when a bridge over I-40 collapsed on May 26th 2002, after a barge struck a pier.”

“On May 15th 2004 a girder fell from the C-470 overpass onto I-70 and killed three passengers in an SUV in Golden Colorado.”

Because of the fact that without needed repairs and replacements such incidents will continue to occur at increasing rates, www.FreeHelpMagazine.com has been set up in order to educate the public on this matter. You can visit this website to find links to your Federal, State and local government representatives. Once you have the contact information for your representatives, contact their offices and express your concerns about increasing funding to invest in our nations interstate infrastructure. You can contact your representatives to urge them to take immediate action. You can contact your Congressman and Senate Representative, and you can get your local community involved. You can contact your local government to inquire how to help take action.

On December 12th through 19th of 2015 www.FreeHelpMagazine.com will be sponsoring National Interstate Infrastructure Awareness Week. The focus of this campaign is to make the nation aware of the needs for increasing funding to the Interstate Infrastructure to take a proactive approach to this issue. We need your help in contacting your local American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials to get them to help sponsor this event. With their assistance we can get the word out on traffic signs on Interstates, with police presence, in order to make the traveling motor public more aware of the dangers that they are facing on the interstates they are traveling on. Many people may simply take for granted that the bridges they are traveling on are properly rated for the load weight they are approved for. The Federal Highway Administration has pointed out that this may not be the case. By bringing awareness to the general public that they may be traveling on unsafe sections of interstate, we can get more people to contact their elected officials in government in order to get these issues addressed.

By getting a national annual campaign started on the interstates, this will get the people most affected by the issue to be aware of the issue. Most people who drive the interstate bridges would be unlikely to want the bridges to collapse while they are driving on them. Knowing that the bridges they are driving on may be 16 years or more over their expiration date is likely to make a person voice their concerns to their local, state and federal representatives. This is likely to help to convert these motorists into active marketing disciples for this campaign. What you can do is contact the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials and your local, state and federal representatives. Tell them that you want them to engage in enacting December 12th through December 19th as an annual National Interstate Infrastructure Awareness Week. This will give these elected officials something that they can stand behind to show that they are making a difference for their representatives on. This will allow the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials as well to show that they are making a difference in the communities that they serve. Together, we can make a difference and make our Interstate Infrastructure secure.

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