After the collapse of the Skagit River Bridge in Washington State, Ironworkers General President Walter Wise called on Congress to break the unprecedented gridlock and make immediate investment in rebuilding the country's crumbling infrastructure. Wise notes numerous reports in recent years highlight addressing America's infrastructure is long overdue. Most recently, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave United States infrastructure a grade of D+.
The collapse of the Skagit River Bridge in Washington serves as a reminder that this can’t wait until after the next election...infrastructure maintenance and improvement is not a partisan issue.
The Ironworkers also have called for an increase in standards for new bridge construction. As an example, it notes the San Francisco Area Bay Bridge was built with substandard Chinese steel and has been subject to numerous failures and delays and a federal investigation into the bridge has commenced.
The danger to commuters is the most important problem related to substandard or crumbling infrastructure, but the Ironworkers also bring attention to the high unemployment rate for construction workers.
The source of the problem is in Washington, D.C., Wise says:
Unfortunately, none of these problems can be addressed without congressional action. Senate gridlock resulting from an unprecedented 360 filibusters from the Republican minority has destroyed even the bipartisanship normally associated with infrastructure investment and safety. Unemployed construction workers and at-risk commuters are all waiting on Congress to do what’s right for the American people....How much longer will they have to wait?