Readers React: What happens when we don’t spend money on roads and bridges

Abandoned vehicles on the Morandi motorway bridge this week in Genoa, Italy, the day after a section collapsed, killing dozens of people.

To the editor: The recent collapse of the bridge in Italy is a reminder that bad infrastructure kills. This year, we in California must vote to keep the 12-cent sales tax on gasoline to repair our roads and bridges.

For a person who drives 10,000 miles per year and gets 20 miles to the gallon, this would cost $60 per year or $5 per month. For someone driving a truck 100,000 miles per year that gets 12 mpg, the cost would be $83.33 per month. Calculate your own cost per year based on your mileage and mpg, and compare it with the cost of bad roads.

The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that “driving on roads in need of repair in California costs each driver $844 per year.” For a lot less, we can reduce the damage from bad roads.

According to the 2017 Infrastructure Report Card of the ASCE, we have 195,834 miles of public roads, with 50% in poor condition; 1,388 (5.50%) of our 25,431 bridges are structurally deficient.


When it comes time to vote in November, remember that paying for repairs is a lot cheaper than the damage done to our vehicles. Vote no on Proposition 6.

Catherine G. Burke, San Gabriel

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