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BSCES Senior Vice President Letter to the Boston Globe

Type:  General  

BSCES Senior Vice President Letter to Boston Globe on Infrastructure Funding


Dear Editor:

As a professional engineer with 25 years of experience, I strongly disagree with Harvard economics professor Edward Glaeser’s opinion that inadequacies with the nation’s infrastructurehave been oversold  (see “What Crisis?”, April 7, 2011).  During the past several years, there have been near dam failures in Taunton and Freetown, where catastrophic failure and possible loss of life were narrowly averted.  Recently, the State Auditor found that 100 municipally-owned dams are rated in unsafe or poor condition.  Of the 3,000 dams in Massachusetts, approximately half are privately owned and many were built in the 1800s. Many private dams still require state-mandated evaluations. In addition to dams, many bridges are past their design lives.  In Haverhill, trains must cross the Merrimack River over a 100-year old bridge at 5 mph due to the condition of the bridge.  Many municipalities have leaking water and sewer pipes that are over 100 years old and water/wastewater treatment plants, built in the 1970’s, that need significant upgrades.  There is no question among those who know infrastructure best, civil engineers, that the nation is in an infrastructure crisis.  The question is:  Can we find the leadership and collective will to prevent the crisis from becoming a disaster?


Peter A. Richardson, PE
Haverhill, MA


Note:  The Boston Globe Editorial about: What Crisis? was published on  April 7, 2011.

Link to the Op-Ed, which may only be available to Boston Globe subscribers or for a fee at this time




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