Kentucky infrastructure report card

As I’m sure most of you are aware, Kentucky Senator and TeaParty activist, Rand Paul voted against raising the debt limit. In 2003, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 29.7% of all Kentucky bridges were rated as deficient.  By 2010, the deficiency  had risen to 32.2%. The grade assigned by the ASCE in 2003 was a C and by 2010 that had fallen to a D.
In order to bring all Kentucky bridges up to the national average of a C rating, $283,000,000 would be required.  And to repair or replace all of the deficient bridges in Kentucky would cost an estimated $1.2 billion dollars. Only $98,000,000 was allocated in 2010 budget of which, a substantial portion was through the Federal Government economic stimulus plan. As a result of the dept-limit agreement, substantial cuts in spending federal monies will no longer be available in the future.  How does Rand Paul expect that to protect the citizens of Kentucky from what is anticipated to be increasingly dangerous infrastructure.
Of the 13,842 bridges in Kentucky, 1300 in 11 of them or 9 .5 percent are considered efficient. The ASCE determines a bridge is deficient in accordance with the Federal Highway Administration definition.
Paul voted against the debt limit agreement, essentially increasing and enhancing deterioration of a considerable portion of Kentucky’s infrastructure. While the accounts vary depending upon the sources, nearly 5000 people will these are the unemployed or to not be able to obtain employment with in the state of Kentucky due to Paul’s actions.  In the end, who was he really protecting.  Certainly not the residents of Kentucky whose lives will further be placed in jeopardy as a result of a deteriorating infrastructure.  And won’t the cost of entitlement programs and government subsidies increase as a result of the 5000 people soon to be unemployed and those who cannot obtain employing as a result of his TeaParty views of the economy?
What Qualifies a Bridge as “Structurally Deficient?”

Federal law requires states to inspect all bridges 20 feet or longer at least every two years. Bridges in “very good” condition may go four years between inspections, while those rated“structurally deficient” must be inspected every year. Highway bridges have three components: 1) the superstructure , which supports the deck; 2) the substructure, which uses the ground to support the superstructure; and 3) the deck, which is the top surface of the bridge that cars, trucks and people cross. During inspection, each of these bridge features is given a rating between 0 and 9, with 9 signifying the best condition. Federal guidelines classify bridges as “structurally deficient” if one of the three key components is rated at 4 or less (poor or worse), meaning engineers have identified a major defect in its support structure or its deck. 1 If a bridge is rated “structurally deficient,” the bridge requires significant maintenance, rehabilitation or replacement. A state may restrict heavy vehicle traffic, conduct immediate repairs to allow unrestricted use or close the bridge to traffic until repairs can be completed.

Sources: Federal Highway Administration. “Non-Regulatory Supplement.” U.S. Department of Transportation. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/fapg/0650dsup.htm#N_2_Federal Highway Administration. “Conditions & Performance.” U.S. Department of Transportation, 2006