Friday, August 03, 2007

Aging infrastructure at heart of Minnesota disaster | CNET

Aging infrastructure at heart of Minnesota disaster | CNET "'We just don't have enough inspectors and inspections,' said William Ibbs, a professor of civil engineering at the University of California at Berkeley. 'It didn't surprise me. It is a tragedy, but unfortunately it doesn't surprise me.'"

Wow, I guess we really need more civil engineers.

"To a large degree, the difficulty of adequately maintaining infrastructure is caused by the sheer scope of the task. 'Did you know that there are over 600,000 bridges in the U.S.?' Ibbs said. 'And there are also pipelines, roads, dams, schools.'"

Yes, there are also pipelines, roads, dams, and schools. There are quite a few structures and buildings that are not inspected that should be. I know that the county recently sent a person to inspect the quality of the water at my office building. That's great that the water in my building should be clean, but that isn't even what the county is responsible for. The county is only responsible for the water up to the water meter, which I would presume is within 10 feet of the curb.

This makes me wonder how many civil engineers are employed in their field and how many agencies/companies are actively hiring civil engineers. Perhaps Congress and other legislative bodies should look at ways to get these agencies the funds (and directives?) they need to inspect these structures and buildings in a reasonable time period.

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