Too Big to Fall: America's Failing Infrastructure and the Way Forward

Too Big to Fall: America's Failing Infrastructure and the Way Forward

by Barry B. LePatner
     
 

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In August 2007, the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis collapsed, killing 13 people and injuring 145 others. Investigations following the tragedy revealed that it was not an unavoidable accident, but one that could have been prevented—and one that threatens to be repeated at many thousands of bridges located across the nation. Already more than 50 percent of our

Overview

In August 2007, the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis collapsed, killing 13 people and injuring 145 others. Investigations following the tragedy revealed that it was not an unavoidable accident, but one that could have been prevented—and one that threatens to be repeated at many thousands of bridges located across the nation. Already more than 50 percent of our bridges are past their intended lifespan. Using the I-35W Bridge as a starting point, LePatner chronicles the problems that led to that catastrophe—poor bridge design, shoddy maintenance, ignored expert recommendations for repair, and misallocated funding—and then explores the responses to the tragedy, including the NTSB document which failed to report the full story to our nation.

From here LePatner evaluates what the I-35W Bridge collapse means for the country as a whole—outlining the possibility of a nationwide infrastructure breakdown. He exposes government failure on a national as well as state level, uncovering how our nation’s transportation system prioritizes funding for new projects over maintenance funding for aging infrastructure. He explains the imperatives for why we must maintain an effective infrastructure system, and how it plays a central role in supporting both our nation’s economic strength and our national security.

Written both for those who can effect change and for those who must demand it, Too Big to Fall presents an eye-opening critique of a bureaucratic system that has allowed political best interests to trump those of the American people.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This well-researched book on the US’s failure to maintain its bridges and highways straddles political advocacy and scholarly work. . . . The chapters on the history of highway funding in the US, public-private partnerships, and the causes of systemic failures to maintain what has been built are excellent. . . . [This is] an excellent book for students and professionals, which one hopes will heighten the sense of urgency to increase funding for highway and bridge maintenance. There is no comparable book. The index and 37 pages of endnotes are excellent. Highly recommended.”—Choice

“This book offers professional and armchair engineers a wealth of history to place future road failures in perspective.”—Seattle Times

“The deadly collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis awakened Americans to the perils of our aging infrastructure . . . In this painstaking analysis of both the Minneapolis tragedy and other structural failures, [LePatner] reveals that government failures at every level have resulted in our reliance on roads and bridges that were never designed to sustain the volume of traffic we now generate . . . Detailed and determined, this is a call to arms ignored at our own peril.” —Colleen Mondor, BookList

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780984497805
Publisher:
Foster Publishing
Publication date:
11/09/2010
Pages:
268
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.20(d)

What People are saying about this

Gary La Point
“Barry LePatner has emerged as one of the nation’s leading advocates for infrastructure reform. Too Big to Fall provides a thought-provoking examination of America’s infrastructure dilemma. It is eye-opening and sobering. Hopefully this work will resonate with those in authority to heighten their sense of urgency to aggressively address this threat to our nation’s future.”
Robert Puentes
“In Too Big to Fall, LePatner explains that to understand the severity of the situation, one has to acknowledge that our nation’s infrastructure system is not simply a bridge here or a highway system over there . . . He hammers home the stark reality that there are security, safety, and economic implications every time a piece of the system fails . . . He focuses attention on problems that will significantly impact our nation’s ability to protect its citizens as well as to grow and prosper in a dynamically changing world economy . . . Too Big to Fall belongs on the desk of every transportation official, governor, and member of Congress who wants to work productively toward finding solutions rather than continuing to add to the problems plaguing our nation’s infrastructure.”
Dan McNichol
“Barry LePatner makes an airtight case in Too Big to Fall that our nation’s road infrastructure is becoming a liability, a drag on our productivity rather than an asset. His heavily researched book aptly warns us that if our nation’s infrastructure continues to fail, so too does America…LePatner’s ultimate optimism and professional experiences lead us to a solution that we need to take to heart.”
Peter J. Vanderzee
“This book needs to be read by all those concerned about our transportation infrastructure…The time for optimizing long-term transportation funding has begun, providing beleaguered taxpayers with much-deserved relief and achieving better results, supported by innovative technologies and enhanced business methods.”
From the Publisher
"Barry LePatner makes an airtight case in Too Big to Fall that our nation's road infrastructure is becoming a liability, a drag on our productivity rather than an asset. His heavily researched book aptly warns us that if our nation's infrastructure continues to fail, so too does America LePatner's ultimate optimism and professional experiences lead us to a solution that we need to take to heart."

"Barry LePatner has emerged as one of the nation's leading advocates for infrastructure reform. Too Big to Fall provides a thought-provoking examination of America's infrastructure dilemma. It is eye-opening and sobering. Hopefully this work will resonate with those in authority to heighten their sense of urgency to aggressively address this threat to our nation's future."

"This book needs to be read by all those concerned about our transportation infrastructure The time for optimizing long-term transportation funding has begun, providing beleaguered taxpayers with much-deserved relief and achieving better results, supported by innovative technologies and enhanced business methods."

Meet the Author

BARRY B. LePATNER is the founder of LePatner & Associates LLP, which serves as legal and business advisor to corporations, institutions, and developers. He is the author of Broken Buildings, Busted Budgets: How to Fix America’s Trillion-Dollar Construction Industry.

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