LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Streets, highways and bridges in Los Angeles County are deteriorating because officials have failed to provide maintenance and replacements for local infrastructure, according to a report released Wednesday.
KNX 1070’s John Brooks reports the assessment comes from the Metropolitan Los Angeles branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
The evaluation of bridges, dams, drinking water, flood control, ports, roads, solid waste, transit, urban runoff and wastewater conducted for the ASCE’s 2012 Report Card (PDF) gave L.A. County a “C” grade overall.
However, county streets and highways received a “C-” grade, while also earning a “D” for urban runoff capability.
Caltrans District 7 Deputy Director of Maintenance Dan Freeman said the roads fall apart because they are overused.
“Over a hundred million miles on the system every day,” said Freeman. “Every work week, drivers in L.A. County drive the equivalent of the moon and back.”
Officials said spending an estimated $24 billion to upgrade the county’s infrastructure would benefit everyone during a time of high unemployment.
But Councilman Joe Buscaino said either way, the county will end up paying for the disrepair.
“Infrastructure is one of those things that you don’t really think about it until it breaks,” he said. “You can save money and skip regular maintenance with no immediate consequences, but eventually, it will break down.”
Last October, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined with Senator Barbara Boxer in calling for a “partnership” with the federal government in order to rebuild the 6th Street bridge and other crumbling infrastructure in the city of Los Angeles.