Sexy Infrastructure by Janine Donoho

 

Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge

Japan’s Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge

Hard infrastructure’s sexy. That includes our skeletal system. After all, our bones support us against external forces like gravity, manufacture major elements of our immune system, protect the squishy stuff, and offer a great framework for those ligaments and tendons that allow us to move. Sexy, indeed.

Yet the hard infrastructure I’m excited about, especially since my stay in Japan, does much of the same as our bones. I’m talking mostly public works here, people. You know, transportation grids, energy generation, telecommunications, water supply, and sewage disposal.

Oooh, be still my heart.

Japanese sinkhole repaired in 1 week

Rather than gush about how Japan employs highly efficient and diligent crews to maintain their transportation infrastructure, let me offer a visual tour of that country’s roads and byways juxtapositioned against ours. From the stats, America’s issue appears to be maintenance based and if so, think of expertly trained and conscientious American crews attacking these issues with efficiency, high-tech capability while earning full-time livable wages. The need to modernize our vehicles and transportation systems also bobs to the surface.

Now picture expanded networks of commuter trains and buses outnumbering single person cars leaning toward robotic. Oh, and commuter bicycle parking. Imagine this immaculate and comfortable network running on time. Then you be the judge.

American sinkhole map

American sinkhole map

Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, 25 Jan 2017

Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, 25 Jan 2017

I-5 Skagit RIver Bridge collapse 23 May 2013

Minneapolis I-35W bridge collapse 4 Aug 2007

Japanese drone monitors bridges and highways

Japanese maintenance workers

High tech truss tests in Japan

America’s maintenance crisis

America’s maintenance crisis 2

Japan’s commuter trains

Japan’s commuter buses

Japanese Trains

Commuter bicycle parking

Robotic car

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