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The secret life of bridges

StoryMaps – A look at the state of America’s unsung infrastructure heroes: “Investing in infrastructure has, generally speaking, been a popular and productive decision by the United States government. It creates well-paying jobs, makes the country safer, and boosts the economy in a number of direct and indirect ways. That explains how, even in today’s contentious times, a bipartisan, one-trillion-dollar infrastructure bill was passed by the United States Senate on August 10, 2021. When thinking of infrastructure spending, it’s the brand-new, grandiose, far-reaching projects that often come to mind first—the kinds of things that entail a ribbon-cutting ceremony. However, it’s the upgrades to existing infrastructure, while less buzz-worthy and photogenic, that can provide the biggest return on investment. One type of infrastructure in particular carries an outsized importance: Bridges. There are more than 618,000 motor-vehicle-carrying bridges in the United States. If you’ve ever traveled in the U.S., you’ve almost certainly been across one or two of them—if not several hundred. From the vermilion arches of the Golden Gate to myriad industrious, commerce-sustaining highway overpasses, the bridges of the United States are a beacon of mobility, a triumph of modern engineering, and a critical component of the nation’s expansive ground transportation infrastructure…”

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