Route Fifty » More than 47,000 of America’s bridges are in urgent need of repairs, slightly fewer than last year thanks largely to the federal government’s new definition of the term “structurally deficient,” according to a report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. The study uses the latest data available from federal government’s National Bridge Inventory Database.
The New York Times » Long before the Morandi Bridge collapsed in Genoa, Italy, last year, killing 43 people, an economics professor named Marco Ponti took aim at the private company that managed the structure, raising two fundamental concerns. One was money. Mr. Ponti argued that Autostrade per l’Italia, or Highways for Italy, which managed the bridge and more than half of Italy’s 4,000 miles of toll roads, made “abnormal” profits. The other was the lopsided power balance between Autostrade and the Italian government. Mr. Ponti, who served on an expert panel advising the government, said ministries did too little to regulate the company. Taxpayers were being shorn “like flocks of sheep,” Mr. Ponti said in a newspaper interview in 2003.
Denver Post » Proposition 110 would increase the state sales tax from 2.9 percent to 3.52 percent for the next 20 years to fund state and local transportation projects, including new roads, maintenance of existing roads and debt repayment. Revenue would go to the state (45 percent), local governments (40 percent) and multimodal transportation projects (15 percent).