August 2nd, 2007
11:07 AM ET
10 years ago

Reid: Country needs to look at infrastructure

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said Thursday that the Minneapolis bridge collapse should be a “wake-up call” for the country.

“We have all over the country crumbling infrastructure - highways, bridges, dams - and we really need to take a hard look at this,” said Reid.

In addition to being the “right thing to do,” Reid also said that repairing infrastructure was “good for America.” “For every billion dollars we spend in our crumbling infrastructure, 47,000 high-paying jobs are created,” added Reid.

The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team to Minneapolis to investigate the cause of the bridge collapse.

- CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

Filed under: Harry Reid
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. Islam, Boston, MA

    If only the money spent on the war (or a fraction of which) is used instead to, not only repair the infrastructure, create the best infrastructure in the world. How a country that boasts to be # 1 in the world, has roads that are sometimes even worse than that in so called 3rd world countries. Just look at the federal highway conditions in the Detroit area.

    August 2, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. Judith, Minneapolis, MN

    This is the kind of story that makes the righties complain about the "liberal media bias." Yes, this incident should be used to draw attention to our infrastructure, but this bridge didn't collapse from a lack of money – it was thought to be in good shape.

    On the other hand, screw Bush for saying "our report told them so," and blaming it on the state. He was the first to jump on the blame game, and that makes me sick.

    August 2, 2007 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  3. Tony Loman St. Louis, Missouri

    Some have commented that Reid is jumping the gun in calling for infrastructure spending. Incorrect. Reid is right on target. We have known for some time about deteriorating bridges and other parts of the infrastructure in the U.S. A good source is the recent Urban Land Institute report. Read it and weep:

    August 2, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. Becca, Sacramento, CA

    $250,000.00 per Minute of our Tax Dollars are happily spent attacking a Country that never attacked us or threatened to.

    Ask for a little bit of our Tax Dollars to be used at home for the good of the American Infrastructure and you're an alarmist liberal.

    Where has Common Sense & Logic gone?

    August 2, 2007 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  5. Retrogrouch, Destin, FL

    Bridges aren't a government problem? You HAVE to be kidding, right? Have you priced a bridge lately? They're quite expensive. Or would those who think that this is simply some kind of jobs program prefer no bridges? Or perhaps you'd like Wal-Mart or Chevron to build and maintain the bridge for you? They'd charge, you bloody well know, and lots.

    The anti-government, "free market" attitudes are going to lead this country to the poor house while Europe and China eat our lunch. They don't have such stupid arguments–they build and maintain things. In fact, the French build BEAUTIFUL bridges!

    August 2, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  6. JB, Washington DC

    There is such a thing as the "Civil Engineers Report Card."

    It addresses Infrastructure throughout the country, ie:
    Roads, Bridges, Electrical Grids, Sewers, Fresh Water, Contaminated Water Treatment Fascilities...etc.

    This report is provided to Congress.

    They know that the repeated results of the "report card" has been a failing grade. They know that infrastructure is in a critical state of deterioration.

    That Mr. Reid feels the need to pipe up is not surprising.

    What you can do is call your Congressman/Woman, your Senators and ask them what the hell they intend to do. You might also ask them when they are going to do their job.

    State Government is also responsible, and you have Reps and Senators to holler at.

    All said and done, who is going to do the work? We need to revitalize the core groups. And who is willing to sacrifice a perk or several for a solid, unified country wide infrasture with the right redundancy, the right plan?

    Call your folks and raise hell.

    August 2, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. Melissa Boston, MA

    Uh, the infrastructure IS crumbling, Colin. Not that the Democrats here in Taxashusetts have gotten it right–perhaps you haven't read about any of the Big Dig problems?

    August 2, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. GKS, Los Angeles, CA

    Yes, state and local governments are responsible for the repair and upkeep of their bridges, highways, etc. But they can't afford it alone, and in order to get Fed money they have to raise matching funds, which means raising tax dollars to do so. And we've all been brainwashed... TAXES=EVIL.
    It's time we (that goes for the wealthy who get all the tax cuts) to pay our share!

    August 2, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. Nell, Huntington Beach, CA

    Anybody on the highways who is over 40 knows we're not taking care of infrastructure.
    I drove from CA to CO using I15 and I70 recently... work being done everywhere, but too little too late.

    August 2, 2007 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. Laura, Tampa, FL

    Our nation's infrastructure is crumbling, and the Democrats are going to do something about it, and yet people STILL find a way to attack Harry Reid for wanting to address this problem? We are doomed as a nation because we hate each other. We've let politics turn us into enemies. We've forgotten the fact that we're all Americans. Enjoy your partisanship while our nation dies.

    August 2, 2007 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  11. Jody. Burbank, CA

    Oh. My. God.

    People would rather attack Reid than acknowledge the obvious: that neglect and underfunding have deteriorated our infrastructure to the point where things are literally falling apart.

    Put aside the party loyalty for a minute and actually LOOK AT THE PROBLEM. Gah.

    August 2, 2007 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. Gregory Wilson Port Saint Lucie Florida

    I think we should continue to ignore the infrastructure of our country. It leaves more money for corporate subsidies, more money for war, more money for privatizing important government work, such as our military and national intelligence work, hell let us have a party. Gut the middle class by the time we are done we will all be dead so what if our grandchildren live in poverty, so what!

    Rev. Dr. Gregory Wilson

    August 2, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  13. Mykel, San Francisco, CA

    As an "anti-automotivist" and advocate for mass transit and compact, pedestrian-based city development, I would like to know exactly how much this country spends each year on highway, freeway and road construction and maintenance.

    No matter how many different sources I access on the internet, no single figure is available, leading me to conclude that it is being deliberately obscured, perhaps by the right wing-owned auto, oil and weapons companies who stand to gain so much from the nation being hooked on their product, the automobile, and the oil wars cars require.

    If Americans knew that we probably spend as many hundreds of billions of dollars per year on roads that we do on the military, we might seriously begin to question just how warped our spending priorities, our cities and our foreign policy has become because of the car.

    The fact that the we are witnessing the collapse of the exponentially costly road network may be the first sign that the twin spending behemoths of roads and the military might finally be at odds with each and, clearly, the military is winning.

    The silver lining on this dark cloud might just be that we won't need oil wars anymore if the roads to drive cars upon have crumbled away and the masses move back towards the compact, sustainable, walkable cities of yesteryear.

    August 2, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  14. Bill, Phoenix, AZ

    I heard President Bush this morning spend about 20 seconds with a message to the people of Minneapolis. He then went into a diatribe on how the Democratic Congress will not pass his spending bills. As if any of those bills do not affect bridges except in Baghdad.

    The wonderful governor of Minnesota vetoed a spending bill that would have addressed the crumbling infrastructures in the state. The Democrats in the Minn. House and Senate passed the spending bill but as usual, the Republican vetoed it.

    This is just another excuse for the reich wing fascists that want to turn everything over to private business. When actually it's time for Americans to tell the fascists to stop spending money on an oil war and use the money to help America.

    August 2, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. rob earl, new york, ny

    Uh, Senator Reid?

    I don't know what you've been smoking, sir, but the last time I looked, dividing 47,000 into $1-Billion comes out to about $21,276 per job.

    High-paying indeed.

    August 2, 2007 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. Ben Black, Kalamazoo Michigan

    Reid is right- I am literally appalled at the state the roads are in- it's like driving over the surface of the moon. I'd like to see tax dollars go to improving OUR nation's infrastructure, as opposed to building it for other countries. Am I crazy for wanting to see something tangible come from my hard-earned tax dollars? And to criticize spending? The war machine does not benefit most of us outside of defense, but improved surroundings do.

    August 2, 2007 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. Ron B., Philadelphia

    Ironic that a Conservative Blog was just yesterday morning patting the Repub. Governor of Minneapolis on the back for vetoing an apparently much-needed transportation bill:

    August 2, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. David, Kingston, NY

    People have been crying "infrastructure" for several years now. It's just sad that it has to come to this before people wake up.

    With all the billions per month going to Iraq, you'd think we could re-route some of it to domestic housekeeping.

    August 2, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. Andrew, Louisville KY

    I love how this gets spun into a reason to "Vote Democrat in '08." They're one in the same. The only difference is how they want to spend your money. Vote on the issues. Listen to "fringe/lower-tier" candidates and find out what they have to say before throwing your vote away to the lesser of two evils.

    August 2, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  20. Carl, Dallas, Texas

    I work in the transportation field, and there is simply not enough money for construction and repair costs.

    Taxes (federal, state, and gasoline) must be raised a decent amount to cover this.

    Question is, are you ok with that?

    If you are, then gas will be at least 1 dollar more expensive than it is now...

    August 2, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. Michael Posso, Spooner, Wisconsin

    Cost of the war in Iraq-1 trillion dollars.

    Cost to fix the infrastructure in this country-1.3 trillion dollars.

    It seems to me that our hard earned tax dollars could be better used fixing roads and bridges rather than on killing 600,000 innocent Iraqis and almost 4000 American boys and girls.

    August 2, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. David, Kingston, NY

    I wonder if recent cuts in Federal funding due to the Iraq war forced the state to make choices between school lunches and highway and bridge maintenance.

    August 2, 2007 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. Carl, Dallas, Texas

    Please stop pointing fingers to blame. Everyone in politics is to blame, and we are to blame for voting them into power.

    The point is... what do we need to do to get things like this changed?

    Do we need to step up and run? Do we need someone to stand up for the people?


    August 2, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  24. Mark, Kingston, NY

    Amazing how many posts there are here about how Harry likes to spend our money or Harry doesn't even want to wait for an investigation...

    Are those the the White House talking points for this issue? Seems to me the money to upgrade our infrastructure is being spent somewhere else, employing people somewhere else.

    But, I'd hate to go against the White House talking points...


    August 2, 2007 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  25. typical republican

    We need to build bridges in Iraq, so Iraqis can blow them up, so we can rebuild them, so Iraqis can blow them up, so we can rebuild them...and so on. Jay-zus will protect our bridges.

    August 2, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
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