The decline of our infrastructure

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Mobuck

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
7,797
Location
missouri
Became desperately apparent yesterday. In preparation for planting, we have to shuffle equipment from one farm to another since our machine storage is scattered. Yesterday, the plan was to move the 'header wagon' (a 35' long wagon that hauls the soybean/small grain combine header) to our north farm and bring the 'little'(ONLY 30' end to end) planter home. Son had gone ahead with pickup and 20' trailer to meet a chemical delivery driver and I followed a few minutes later. Turned out the county road grader was making a mess of the far end of our one lane sort of gravel road leaving a windrow of dirt/rocks that the header wagon couldn't straddle. I was holding to one side and the wagon got sucked into a mud pocket. Now, I was using a 2 ton truck to pull this so it's not like my tow vehicle was overloaded. AnyHoo, the wagon dropped to the axle and the truck smoked the tires. No go no mo. Yupper, I had just stuck a full size 2 ton truck in the county road.
This sort of thing is not uncommon here. I'd already driven through 4-5 mudholes with water 4-8" deep at that point. Made a call and got a 4WD tractor on the way promptly but GEEZ, this is beyond being a joke. One of the big issues that my state legislators are trying to address is the local infrastructure-roads/bridges/failing power grid. This seems to be the trend as rural America takes the hits when funding runs short.
 

NewRuger41

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 3, 2022
Messages
67
Location
USA!
But hey, let's push out 5G so people can stare at stupid videos on their phones more. And let's build billion dollar modern day coliseums for entertainment purposes. And while we're at it, let's push electric cars, factory farms, Spanish, etc.

You are correct in that there is a decline in our infrastructure, but it really is the decline of Western civilization in totality across the board (sorry for the use of the 1981 film title) from education to health and wellness to infrastructure to the family unit etc.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Messages
1,998
I live in Michigan, a lot of our roads are as rough as some of the motocross tracks we used to race on. And these are "paved" roads, most of the rural gravel ones are actually smoother except at intersections.
To be fair we are seeing some of the interstates worked on.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
8,305
Location
Dallas, TX
I live in a fairly nice part of town. It seems on a regular basis they redo the streets and sidewalks throughout our part of town.

They just tore up and rebuilt a street a few blocks away. For the life of me, I don’t know what was wrong with the old one. My dogs and I walked up and down the old street many times. It was in good to very good shape. I can only think it was a nice quiet street some contractor could work on without many cars driving by.

But when I drive through not so nice parts of Dallas, it looks like the streets and sidewalks haven’t been maintained in a very, very long time.

The very nicest parts of town have well maintained streets with speed bumps to keep the riff raff out. Or at least keep them from speeding.

All this to question how states divvy up money for road maintenance. It sure doesn’t appear to be equal at all.
 

Dan in MI

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Aug 9, 2003
Messages
3,020
Location
Davisburg, MI. USA
I’ll not argue the infrastructure problem, but I’d say your issue was just bad timing. 40 minutes earlier or later and you could have cruised down the center of the road fine. I know all about the middle of the road curb during the grading process.
 

Colonialgirl

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
7,991
Location
Wesley Chapel, Florida
I keep hoping (since 2007 when Ashley and I bought this place and got a card asking if we wanted the road paved) that some day they will pave my road which would get shut down by OSHA if it was an inducrial site with all the fine silty dust.
 

RCA1504

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
83
Location
NW FL
Let them eat Cake. Old song same tune. These wonder kin can not find their posterior with either hand. Owning a farm, gives you a different perspective on just how screwed up society truly is.

I saw a road grader go by out front……on the paved road. So I go out, yep, Einstein is grading pavement. Come on Guy… So I go get my camera. He stops and says, hey why are you filming me….because you are grading a paved road, I do not like to be filmed, well if you were doing nothing wrong you would not mind being filmed. They told me to grade this road, ah, ha, now we get it, the Mensa member driving the road grader is on the wrong road….How smart do you have to be to not to grade a paved road? Paved using grant funds, to prevent wash outs in the creek bottom. The County just spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fixing this road and he gets out there and grades the pavement up. Geez.
 

dannyd

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 10, 2016
Messages
758
Location
Jacksonville, Florida
Has nothing to do with owning a farm. The government has always wasted money on stupid projects.

The Babyboomers just upped the anti from what their parents did wrong.
 

Don Lovel

Hunter
Joined
Nov 10, 2003
Messages
2,275
Location
Red Dirt Oklahoma, Go Cowboys
I have seen some scary bridges from underneath that are carrying heavy loads daily. "Rust never sleeps and concrete doesnt last forever"
I have seen 8" orbit valves that the paint was thicker than the washed out iron body of the valve.
I have seen old power lines sag or melt from overload.
This country quit doing correct maintenance and overloaded infrastructure for too many years now
 

Huskerguy72

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
101
Location
Central Kansas
I grew up mostly in SW Nebraska and my wife is from NW KS and we have lived most of our adult lives in Kansas. It isn't hard to see that this infrastructure piece is going to collapse upon itself eventually. The country roads and bridges are much better than they were when we were kids. Many of the main country roads when we played sports were gravel at best and are now paved. I don't know who one would find this info but there have to be more paved miles of highway than there ever has been. The farm we spend some time at has good roads and updated bridges for all the newer and much larger equipment of today.

That said, just look at new highway systems and roads including bypasses and such that are everywhere. It is one thing to build these, another to build them in the air and another to rebuild them 30 years from now. So in essence, we are contributing to our own problems with the growth in some areas. In others, such as the small towns I grew up in, there aren't enough people to support the roads so they deteriorate and eventually are repaired but here simply are not enough tax payers to pay for it all.
 

dannyd

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 10, 2016
Messages
758
Location
Jacksonville, Florida
Don't know about out there but in the southeast there is no excuse for bad roads or bridges. We have the tax base and the money is available but if you dig deep its just not spent on the projects the money was collected for.

over 25 years ago when I had kids in school got tired of hearing school system always needed more money. So I took their budget divided by the number of kids and come to find out; with the price per kid they could have all gone to the local private school with all uniforms and books paid for plus transportation. People in government cannot run things on time or within budget.
 

RCA1504

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
83
Location
NW FL
A public road, school bus route, providing road access to six farms, one being my farm, has everything’s to do with farms and farming.

Now as the elected public official that arranged for that road to be paved so the area school children could get to school. I find you Dannyd to be in my opinion, an absolute Adz.
 

lolbell

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Messages
260
Don't know about out there but in the southeast there is no excuse for bad roads or bridges. We have the tax base and the money is available but if you dig deep its just not spent on the projects the money was collected for.

over 25 years ago when I had kids in school got tired of hearing school system always needed more money. So I took their budget divided by the number of kids and come to find out; with the price per kid they could have all gone to the local private school with all uniforms and books paid for plus transportation. People in government cannot run things on time or within budget.
Dannyd you hit the nail on the head. When there is a problem at public schools the first response is to throw more money at it. It’s not just the gov’t school system though it’s anything the gov’t gets involved in.

During the wet season at times my wife can’t get out in her car because of the county road we live on, we have to go in my truck. When I brought it before the County Comission I was asked if I realized it was a dirt road when I moved there. I told them I paid taxes for things like upkeep on the road.

Recently I have just been doing the road work with my tractor and box blade, but with fuel getting as high as it is I don’t think I can keep doing it much longer.

 

Mobuck

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 25, 2007
Messages
7,797
Location
missouri
Literally NO ONE who lives on a county maintained road drives a 'car' around here. Even a mid-sized AWD SUV is not enough in many places. I've lived on this road 42 winters and there's been a big JD tractor with a 9' dozer blade on the front parked in the barn from Thanksgiving until April Fool's day ever one of those years. We haven't owned a non-4WD vehicle for decades. School bus?? The kids drove one my old beater pickups to meet the bus at the highway 1 1/2 miles away.
 

toysoldier

Hunter
Joined
Aug 23, 2006
Messages
3,332
Location
Hutchinson, KS USA
It's not just infrastructure. In every agency, organization, and business maintenance is the red-haired stepchild. There's nothing glamorous or exciting about routine maintenance and repair. Anyone donating money to a school or hospital wants a new wing named for them. Developers use graft to get new roads overpasses and on/off ramps to inflate the value of property---while older bridges deteriorate.
I know of one bright exception of this. When Christian College in Columbia MO changed its name to Columbia college and went co-ed in the early 70's, they began venturing in a variety of new directions, becoming a big player in the "remote learning" field. At a time when many smaller schools lost enrolment and closed, Columbia College thrived. When the president who oversaw much of this growth retired, he cited as his proudest achievement a new roof and new windows in all of the campus's red-brick buildings.
 

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