By on March 5, 2021

On Thursday, President Joe Biden spent part of his day listening to a group of lawmakers discuss how much the United States might need to spend on fixing its horrible infrastructure. It’s an issue America has neglected through multiple administrations and has frequently been set back by partisan conflict.

Considering the White House is ruminating on how to source trillions of dollars in new infrastructure spending after the U.S. just printed $9 trillion (almost 25 percent all USD currently in circulation) for COVID relief, that’s unlikely to change. Everyone is worried about raising taxes and causing inflation during a period of economic uncertainty, or skeptical that the government will use the new funding responsibly. But our roads (among other infrastructure projects) are reaching a point where they can no longer be ignored, placing the entire country in a particularly sour pickle. 

During the previous administration, Donald Trump had made it clear that restoring the national infrastructure, including roads, would be an essential issue. But no major infrastructure bills were passed during his presidency, as both parties argued where the funds could best be put to use or simply claimed projects would be too expensive. Most of Trump’s gains were made in the energy sector, with the biggest victory being the United States leveraging oil reserves to become energy independent. Framed as a national security issue, this ended up being the primary focus for much of his term. But President Trump signed an executive order providing federal agencies with the ability to fast-track infrastructure projects, specifically programs relating to highway/road construction and energy concerns, in June of 2020.

Joe Biden undid that executive order with one of his own his first day in office, noting that rigorous regulatory policies should remain in place to protect the environment. The reversal was just one of many that affected existing infrastructure policies. Biden also used EOs to cancel the then-in-progress Keystone XL pipeline while undoing more than 100 other actions taken by Trump in relation to various infrastructure projects using similar reasoning.

We’re back to square one it seems.

But the new administration claims it’s time to make some moves and held a bipartisan meeting in the Oval Office on Thursday aimed at addressing the issue. Meeting attendees included President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and a slew of House representatives. Oddly, the official release didn’t name everyone. But Reuters identified Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (Democrat) and congressman Sam Graves (Republican) after having an opportunity to interview them following the hour-long meeting.

From Reuters:

Biden said at the beginning of the meeting that he aimed for the United States to “once again lead the world across the board in infrastructure” and said doing so “makes us a hell of a lot more competitive around the world.” The White House has declined to say how much Biden will seek to spend on infrastructure or how he would pay for it.

Graves said the infrastructure plan must be bipartisan and that a funding mechanism was needed.

“It cannot be a ‘my way or the highway’ approach like last Congress,” Graves said, referring to previous Democratic legislation. “A highway bill cannot grow into a multi-trillion dollar catch-all bill, or it will lose Republican support.”

A lot of this hinges on Congress. As previously mentioned, Trump also attempted to address issues like roadways and airports but was repeatedly blocked by lawmakers on passing a comprehensive bill dealing with either.

Biden actually went into office wanting more. He’s already vowed to invest $2 trillion into repairing and updating highways, bridges, airports, networking cities, establishing an electric vehicle charging network, and retrofitting old buildings to be greener. He’s also claimed he wanted to transition the entire country toward electric vehicles, starting with federal fleets while subsidizing the companies who build them.

Remarks released by the White House did little to explain how this would be paid for and which programs would be given priority, however. Questions were limited to just a couple of minutes and barely scratched the surface before ending abruptly. The only real information gleaned is that the future of what’s undoubtedly the most heavily used passenger rail line in the entire country — the Northeast Corridor, which links Newark, New Jersey, and New York City — remains uncertain. Reporters spent the rest of their brief time asking about COVID relief.

Here’s the full transcript from the White House:

THE PRESIDENT:  Hey, everybody.  I brought a group of bipartisan leaders on infrastructure, among other things.

We’re going to talk about infrastructure and American competitiveness and what we’re going to do to make sure we once again lead the world across the board in infrastructure.  It’s a — it not only creates jobs, but it makes us a hell of a lot more competitive around the world if we have the best infrastructure in the world.  We’re going to be talking about that.

And I welcome all my colleagues here.  And thank you all for coming on in.  Thank you.

Q:    Mr. President, Republicans have been trying to slow down the coronavirus bill.  Republicans have been trying to slow down the coronavirus bill.  Have you been reaching out to them to try to bring them along?

THE PRESIDENT:  I’ve been talking to a lot of my Republican friends in the House and the Senate, and continue to do that.  And — and we have.  We’ve met — had a number of meetings with Republicans on the coronavirus bill and — House, Senate, and a combination of both.  So we’re keeping everybody informed.

Q:    Are you comfortable with having to limit the direct payments?  Are you comfortable with having to limit the direct payments?

THE PRESIDENT:  Am I comfort- —

Q:    Comfortable with having to limit the direct payments?

THE PRESIDENT:  Yes.  Thank you.

Q:    Does the proposal include the Gateway Project, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT:  I’m sorry.  Can’t hear him.  Thank you all for coming in.  Thank you.

[Image: Orhan Cam/Shutterstock]

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141 Comments on “White House Briefly Mentions Fixing Our Horrible Roads...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Well, of course everyone goes to the feds for this – when states come to the voters with their hat in hand, asking for money for road construction, voters tell the states to go f**k off about 100% of the time.

    A good illustration – about 25 years ago, the state went to voters with a tax increase to fix I-25. Ask anyone who lives here, and they’ll tell you the highway was and is a complete s**tshow. People complained ENDLESSLY about it. But the tax failed, and the state had to sell bonds to finance the project. So, instead of the work being paid for in “real time” through direct taxes, we get to pay twice as much over time.

    And at the same time the highway improvements were on the ballot, there was a measure to build a new stadium for the Broncos – which, ironically, would be right on I-25, thereby increasing traffic on the same highway the voters didn’t want to pay to improve, therefore ensuring more traffic jams. The stadium got funded…because, football.

    Meanwhile, the state has moved to a “Lexus lane” arrangement on the existing (inadequate) highway system, handing the tolls to a company that can jack the toll rates without any voter input whatsoever. Oh, and by the way…the company’s overseas. And those “Lexus lanes” are getting clogged too. But, hey, “no new taxes,” right?

    Pure genius.

    And we wonder why infrastructure projects never get done?

    • 0 avatar
      here4aSammich

      I would’ve commented sooner, but I was busy closing pop-up ads on TTAC.

      Voters say no to what they can say no to because we have no say in so much of what gets taxed nowadays. And we can see that pork and et projects are priority over infrastructure. Just look at the current “covid relief” bill. The vast majority of the money spent in the bill has nothing to do with “covid relief”. Why on earth would anyone voluntarily give this government a penny that isn’t being taken basically by force?

      @SCEtoAUX I’m glad you are in a better position than a lot of people. I’m guessing you kept the money? If you made a donation to a worthy cause of your choice I applaud you. You could even donate it back to the Feds, did you know that? Cuz I’m guessing you’ll be getting another check you say you don’t need…..
      https://fiscal.treasury.gov/public/gifts-to-government.html

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Of course I kept the money, but I make donations year-round as well. In principle, I don’t support EV subsidies, either, but I’ve benefited from them twice because the money is on the table. (Actually, with a lease, the mfr gets the money, so I had no income tax impact).

        Some people actually had more income on Covid unemployment benefits than they did while working.

        All I’m saying is that Congress could run their giveaway programs much better than they do, but that’s not news.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          In my state people who made under 50k per year saw an increase in their income with the $600 wk bonus. Those with low wage and/or part time jobs made out quite well for a couple of months.

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        I use an ad blocker, I never get pop-up ads on this or any other site. They’re free, too.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Some “good faith” cleaning up of government waste and pork and some accountability would go a long way towards getting people to support tax increases. But they won’t so people just put up with the bad roads versus paying more taxes AND having bad roads which history shows to be the likely outcome.

  • avatar
    Dan

    With one party control of the money spigot the pork is coming.

    And with this party that pork will be bike lanes, high speed rail to nowhere, and racial quotas in the HOVs.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Maybe this effort will fix the broken process by which we fund infrastructure.

    Gas taxes aren’t working, especially since CAFE limits keep climbing, and since the Federal gas tax hasn’t gone up in decades. Also, if the Feds want to push for an EV future, it’s kind of pointless to tax gas.

    As I’ve mentioned here before, I advocate a usage tax that is based upon the GVWR of the vehicle and its annual miles. Mileage is reported to inspection states, annual registrations, and insurance companies, so it is readily available. Pump taxes would be eliminated.

    Tax = GVWR x miles driven.

    Such a formula could work for ICEs, EVs, heavy trucks, grandma cars, and motorcycles.

    But the basic problem isn’t the formula; it’s that nobody wants to pay. Here in PA, a routine 20-gallon fillup includes $15.04 in taxes. If people had to pay that as a separate item, there would be street riots.

    • 0 avatar
      tomLU86

      @SCE to AUX

      Instead of paying the bill in the simplest, most honest fashion (Fuel taxes), you advocate more complexity in life and government intrusion into our privacy.

      Still, I’d entertain mileage x GVWR on commercial trucks over 20,000 lbs, because a big rig getting 3-4 mpg is tearing up the roads a LOT more than Jos sixpack in his F150 getting 15mpg, and privacy is not as big a concern for businesses.

      There is a correlation between fuel use and road wear. Is it perfect? No. Is it close–YES, close enough.

      If people don’t like it, let them get smaller cars–let them get electric cars for all I care.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        There is no privacy related to the GVWR of your vehicle or the number of miles you drive. At least once a year, somebody official gets this information.

        It isn’t more complex, either. I have to renew my registrations every year. All that would change is the amount I have to pay.

        • 0 avatar
          tomLU86

          It is more complex, because some one will have to note the miles and “manage the process”. Most Dept of Motor Vehicles (here in the rust hole, we call it Secretary of State) struggle with basic tasks, like registering your car. Ours in Michigan is truly horrible–and NY was not that great in my youth, though nothing like this CF. Also, your scheme implies we pay at the end of the year. Or do you want a transponder in every car?

          The merit of your idea is with large trucks, as they cause outsize damage. However, don’t some states, like Ohio, have scales at both ends, and weigh the truck and make the truck pay?

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            The mileage once a year won’t work. In places where some of the suburbs are located in another state, the money won’t be fairly distributed. Maybe if it’s supplemented by tolling.

          • 0 avatar
            SCE to AUX

            No transponders.

            Payment could be made monthly, like a utility.

            People would fight it. We like our taxes to be automatic and invisible. Automatic payroll deduction is the genius tax ploy of the 20th century – it’s a great anesthetic.

            If people had to write checks for their various state and Federal taxes, they’d go nuts about the amount.

            As far as getting an honest odometer reading… unless you want to dabble in odometer tampering or lying about the figure each year, you’d end up paying once the car is sold anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @SCE

            One more reason to even be more thrilled about my recent antique plate for the Volvo.

            Inspection/Emissions/Registration: Exempt
            Title mileage: Exempt
            Tracking capability: Good Luck
            Driving allowance: Once per week/no mileage limitation from DOT.
            Odometer: LOL its TMU at this point.
            Full coverage insurance: Just paid $147 – for a year!

            This is possibly the greatest automotive thing I have ever discovered… because in [the current year] antiques are actual good 90s cars not only carbureted boats from the 70s.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Roads are bad. They are worse than bad in Michigan.

    Lots of reasons. But the root cause is the “something for nothing” mentality that many Americans must believe in, since they vote for people who speak in half-truths.

    Fuel taxes: what percent of them go towards roads? In Michigan, it’s about 65%. More than one of every three dollars goes for something else.

    Maintenance/repair. A better repair costs more UP FRONT, but lasts much longer. So not only is it less costly over time, it’s less “construction” inconvenience to motorists.

    But it’s easier to do five marginal road repairs today and say “I fixed five roads” than three good ones. Five is 67% more….

    Michigan allows heavy trucks. Can’t control the brutal freeze thaw, but trucks…there is always a rationale. I asked my state rep–he gave me a BS answer.

    The USA was broke before COVID. Now we are more broke. Good luck with the roads.

    Resources spent on roads are resources that we can’t spend elsewhere. Like the “forever wars”. But a majority of the public voted against the guy who didn’t start any new wars. Just think of all the money of the past 20 years (not to mention lives lost–and not just 4,000 Americans, try 100x that many mid-east natives)–could that have fixed the interstates and given the states some money to work with? Yes–but then, how would Halliburton and Lockheed Martin and BAE make billions? This is why they buy both parties, to make sure they can make big profits.

    If my state govt spent ALL, 100%, of state fuel taxes on the roads, and 95% of that on road maintenance and repair, and if my state banned trucks over 80,000, well then the roads would be much better. And if they were still lousy, I’d support a fuel tax increase. But since only $2 of every $3 in gas taxes goes to roads, and we allow 120,000 lb trucks (I read in readers digest, in the 1970s!!!! that an 80,000 lb truck causes as much wear as 2,000 4,000 lb cars–not TWENTY TIMES, TWO THOUSAND TIMES), well, NO I’m against raising the fuel tax. I just got a gas-guzzling truck, which should fare better against our execrable roads.

    We need higher gas taxes–provided that ALL of them go to the roads. It’s that simple. The more your drive, the heavier your car, the more fuel you use. And we need to ban big trucks, and yes, it will cost us a few dollars more for shipping. Ain’t no such thing as a free lunch people!

    But it is Friday! TGIF!

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I’m an engineer – but not a civil engineer – and the relative road wear you cite makes sense. My little formula above could be modified with an exponent on the weight portion.

      Most people don’t realize that a road surface is flexible, and is therefore subject to fatigue.

      Items whose stress remains below the fatigue limit will work forever (like an OEM driveshaft), but a few high-stress excursions (like that OEM driveshaft sees after adding a non-stock supercharger) will dramatically reduce the life of an object subjected to cycle stress.

      • 0 avatar
        tomLU86

        In Michigan, the weight has to be spread over a minimum of X axles, but even so… I was in jr high, or HS when I read this fact in some Reader’s Digest article. I just googled this topic, and yes, trucks cause inordinate damage.

        But the do NOT pay their “fair share” of the road damage in user fees, scale/weight fees, or fuel taxes.

        So, individuals are paying for the damage caused by trucks. In effect, I am subsidizing the big trucking firms and truck carriers. If they paid their share, they would have to charge more. That would be more honest, don’t you think? (unless you own the truck company, and the profits accrue to you–then, the current setup works fine, lol)

        • 0 avatar
          Oberkanone

          Taxation of EV trucks is accomplished how? By the weight of the cargo & miles traveled?

          • 0 avatar
            SCE to AUX

            That’s what I would do. This will come up once we start to see EV trucks, both large and small.

            Interestingly, the Model X’s curb weight is already 5500 lbs, which is pickup truck territory. In my state (PA), they’d pay no road tax or other annual fees except registration. Sure doesn’t seem right.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Tractor-trailers pay 35 times more in road taxes, than cars, on average. I’m not saying tractor-trailers shouldn’t pay even more, but what are they/we getting for the money? Or whatever trickles down?

          Inadequate builds. American roads are half the thickness European roads.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            I bet, this is done on purpose. There is a big lobby – paving union. Where is rubber asphalt? Its been known for decades. But look:

            November 19, 2020
            Michigan Scrap Tire Program study finds opportunities in new markets, rubber asphalt

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Nobody hears. Dummies keep blaming the mean truckers that don’t pay their share.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            “Truckers don’t pay their fair share…now let me order some more Amazon Prime.crap. Hey, why has my Prime.Memvership doubled?”

            In most states it is the EV drivers that aren’t paying their fair share. My Lord, you should have heard them wail and moan in Alabama when we tacked on registration fees to EVs (a tax that hurt my family as my son drives one of the few honest to God hooptie EVs out there). I recall reading a new model 3 owners take in the paper which was basically “This is BS…I opted out of the petroleum economy.”. Seriously? Did you opt out of using public roads you fncking parasite?

  • avatar
    dwford

    Why don’t the citizens want to pay more taxes? Easy: every time a politician proposes a tax for a specific purpose, the money ends up really going to pay government worker salaries and pensions, or gets spent on vanity projects for the politicians. The money NEVER goes for the intended purpose.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      The fix is simple. Government should put bins up and tell the taxpayers – here are 25 bins. You must pay X dollars of tax. Please, put percentage on each bin and this % of your taxes will go to that project. This way, population will get the goods it wants.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Bad news – we waited too long:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/05/sand-shortage-the-world-is-running-out-of-a-crucial-commodity.html

  • avatar
    slavuta

    “United States might need to spend on fixing its horrible infrastructure.”

    America has bad roads? Wait until I pull out video of my 2019 trip to Ukraine. Oh wait, youtube has it
    https://youtu.be/HDMBy6ZQQDg

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I visited Ukraine in 2019. The road from Kiev to Chernobyl looked like that – 2 hours to drive 60 miles.

      Things are better since the Soviet days, but sadly, it’s still a poor and corrupt country.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        SCE to AUX,

        as far as roads go – no, buddy. During USSR bad roads did not look THAT bad. In fact, I rented a van and drove good 400 miles. Only the main highway from Kiev to Lviv was in good shape besides a stretch near Zhitomir (if my memory holds). But once I was off main highway, a 70km/h road could only be navigated at 45, not more. Some places it was like slalom. 2-foot deep holes. Although, that particular stretch was supposed to be replaced by new one. Chinese were building it. Government sold contracts to the stretch from Rivne to Lviv to the Turkish company. I’ve heard that was the only heaven road in Ukraine.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’m not sure what’s also along that road but your destination isn’t exactly popular and thus I wouldn’t expect much of a road.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          28-Cars-Later,

          I would go there just to eat. Food in Ukraine is amazing. There should be a food tourism. Otherwise, Keiv for example, looks like beaten-up version of itself during soviet times.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “Keiv [sic] for example, looks like beaten-up version of itself during soviet times.”

            Well that’s just sad.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Maybe the road to Chernobyl isn’t so good because they are still cleaning up the mess from that awesome piece of Soviet technology at the end of it. Who needs containment when you are using “superior” soviet designs, right?

        I know it has been a long time, but dinner in Pripiyat is going to be a hard pass from me…I don’t care if it is the freaking yellow brick road to get there.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          There are still 9 operational reactors of this type. Chernobyl was man-made. We already talked about it.
          What do you think Fukushima technology was? Oh, wonderful General Electric technology and planning.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I once read a very out there but interesting comment about Chernobyl. Essentially it was claimed due to numerous safeguards the RBMK reactor could not have blown up as it did without disabling some of them. Essentially Chernobyl No. 4 was somehow set up to fail whether the operators that night knew it or not. It has been argued Chernobyl economically speaking was the final nail in the coffin of the Soviet Union, and it caused widespread financial and resource problems within the nation at the time. This narrative -as far out there as it is- fits with Golitsyn’s predictions and later KGB de facto control during and after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in late 1991.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Ever notice how at Fukushima there weren’t chunks of the core laying on the ground and the roof of nearby buildings. It was bad, but had the followed the Soviet design philosophy of “who needs containment” it would have been far worse.

            The RBMK was flawed. The 1986 incident at Chernobyl was the culmination of those flaws combined with the rotten Soviet government keeping those flaws secret. There was an incident where fuel rods suffered damage at Chernobyl in 1982 and lest you blame the Ukrainian operators as you like to do (even though it was part of the Soviet Union then) a similar incident at an RBMK in Leningrad in 1975 where the fuel rods suffered damage. Rather than fix the flaw, they just covered it up.

            The reactors became unstable at low power output. That combined with the flaws in the control rods and the Soviet attitude of “containment is for those chumps in the west” was the issue

            I know it is hard for you, but your beloved Soviet Union screwed up and covered it up. A recurring theme in that rotten cesspool. Thank God we bankrupted them. If the USA died tomorrow I can sleep sound in the knowledge that it was worth it if only because we took your rat hole out with us you fncking commie pig

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Your ignorance is keep coming. True, Soviets covered up a lot of things. But in the end, per-reactor, US had more incidents that USSR. And Fukushima is very bad. It keeps spewing radioactive water by tons daily. Japan has 12 mile exclusion zone. Radioactive fish is being caught in the Pacific now.

          What you don’t understand, is that USSR and USA were not all that different with “what happened”. The only difference is that US people experienced personal freedoms, privacy, 1st amendment, 2nd amendment, religious freedom. But there were concentration camps for Japanese Americans, segregation, racism, McCarthyism, and even Nazism came from US (Eugenics). Soviets would experience a lot of good things as long as they would go along with the party line. Life comforts were lower in general but soviets did not have people sleeping an living on the streets, and drug use was low.
          And today US is already turns into USSR. But it is going to be worse. Hopefully some states can keep it original. This is the only defense that people have, that states can barrier themselves from this “new America”

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            So are you saying those incidents didn’t happen? They are pretty well documented since the wall came down. Not all reactor incidents are created equal. I was focusing on ones with damage to the fuel rods (aka a partial meltdown). Three mile island had such an incident but again, radiation release was minimal because the designers weren’t arrogant enough to assume they didn’t need a containment vessel.

            Even Fukushima had multiple meltdowns (again, you talk about people being the issue at Chernobyl, this is certainly the case at Fukushima…They could have pumped seawater in to cool it but this obviously ruins the plant and TEPCO didn’t want to do that until it was too late) and while I believe containment was breached, let’s apply the Soviet design which would have had multiple reactors with their cores exposed to the atmosphere like Chernobyl. They didn’t. It was bad. Soviet design would have made it much worse.

            No, we aren’t perfect, but our warts are out there for all to see and we try to fix them, even if they are long overdue. What we aren’t doing is throwing dissadents in the gulag like Comrade Vlad and I have seen you calling for. Take your BS back to Mother Russia or China.

          • 0 avatar
            cdrmike

            Your man sends assassins to the West to poison political adversaries with radioactive material and nerve agents. What more does one need to know?

  • avatar
    honda1

    The only roads Xiden will build is walking paths through the southern border. Go ahead and flame me but you know i’m right.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      You’re wrong and it’s not worth anyone’s time to write a flaming response.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Right now he is paving a new road to money in Ukraine. US sanctioned Kolomoiskiy and entire family. An oligarch who is El Padrino to current Ukraine’s president and bank owner. Must be ran over some Biden’s crime family interests.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Today I had to pull the old joke off the shelve. It goes like this

    If the crew repaves the road, this is the first sign that soon another crew will dig a pipeline under it.

    Today, I drove to get my taxes done. A road that was just paved last year was brutally dug through and badly patched after. And today it looks and feels like a bad dream.

  • avatar
    ErickKS

    here4aSammich brings up some good points.

    Those of us who actually PAY taxes are often quite unhappy with how our money is spent. We have almost no effect on how it is spent and feel that we often receive little benefit.

    Tax and spend types — so easy to spend what isn’t yours.

    The idea that we should just embrace these taxes, higher and more of them, is laughable.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Some states like Ohio are taxing EVs and adding additional taxes on hybrids for road revenue. Gas tax revenue has been falling and states are looking for additional ways to get revenue for roads.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Wait, isn’t Tesla Model 3 weights up to 4100lb. This is SUV. EVs must pay more! for the roads

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        A Model 3’s weight starts at 3,648. A 911 Turbo S Cabriolet is 3,790. A Mustang is 3,792 and the convertible is 3,932. A C8 Z51 is 3,647. One lb less than the Model 3’s base.

        The fact is that a lot of cars are porking out at near 4k lbs. these days. It’s hardly an issue for just EVs. Battery gravimetric density is improving and EVs could get lighter, but you never know, When NHSTA starts pushing for 5-star rating in the 100 mph locomotive side collision test or something like that forget it.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          2021 Accord weights from 3131 lbs and up to 3386 lbs for electric (eCVT)

          Mode l3 starts at 3,648 and up to 4100lb when AWD/extended range. I see up to 1000lb difference here

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            “I see up to 1000lb difference”

            Put a harbor freight motor in the accord and it will be even lighter.

            The base accord has a 4 cylinder and CVT with a 0-60 time of 7.2. THe base Model 3 has a 0-60 time of 5.3 seconds. In terms of smoothness and power, it’s more comparable to a V-8 car and that’s what you should be making comparisons against. We’re still only talking about a 500 lb increase in weight for the better performance. Compare the Model 3 to a KIA Stinger and the weight is almost the same. Same with the 3 series.

            When you compare RWD performance sedans, the weights are fairly close. Any of those sedans, EV or otherwise, is going to be heavier than a front-drive CVT econobox.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          mcs,

          you’ve changed the course of this conversation. We did not talk about power but weight. Regardless of 0-60, power, etc.

          Lets skip to the bottom line: Electrics weight more and should be liable for the roads

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            “Lets skip to the bottom line: Electrics weight more and should be liable for the roads”

            Actually, they don’t. I wasn’t changing the conversation. Electrics weight is close to the same weight as ICE cars with similar power and acceleration.” If you want to make dissimilar comparisons, a BMW i3 at 2,700 lbs is lighter than the accord.

            Look at the facts. A light-weight front-wheel drive sedan with 7.2 0-60 time is lighter than an ICE RWD that does 0-60 in the 5 second range. EVs with RWD drive weigh about the same as RWD drive with similar levels of power and acceleration. Just like you can’t compare an i3 with an accord to say that EVs are lighter than ICEs. Sure, the i3 is lighter than the accord, but it’s a lot smaller.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I think Grandpa Joe needs Miracle Ear, hopefully it is procured for him.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Bush (43) promised it
    Obama promised it
    Trump promised it
    Biden promised it
    President QAnon will promise it…

  • avatar
    Old_WRX

    It’s all Dr Seuss’s fault.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      According to new equity rules, first, we repave streets where section-8 dwellers are located.

      • 0 avatar
        Old_WRX

        slavuta,

        “According to new equity rules, first, we repave streets where section-8 dwellers are located.”

        In the NEW amerika they will be the only ones, other than inner party members, that can afford cars — even three cylinder cars. The rest of us will have to ride shank’s mare.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          That is if you can leave your house using your COVID passport from Bill Gates

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Well you should be used to needing your papers in order to leave home, eh Comrade Slavuta? Like the old joke goes “In America you have American Express…don’t leave home.without it. In Soviet Russia we have Russian Express…Don’t leave home.”

  • avatar

    We don’t need roads, we need more government employees, both state and federal, with generous pensions who will vote Democrat.

  • avatar
    Dan

    The rich coastal version of horrible roads is pavement that’s for all intents and purposes perfect, and also for all intents and purposes the same as it was 30 years and half the traffic ago with the net result of all-day congestion and dirt road travel speeds. Between NIMBY and existing development right up to the curbs, capacity expansion is decades of 20,000 page environmental studies before breaking ground and bottom line costs of 100 million bucks a lane mile. That’s where the money is so that’s where the money goes. Add to that, that’s where the subways and busses that suck up half the gas tax proceeds go too.

    But that isn’t where the miles, gallons, or heavy truck GVWRs go, so finding funding that way is the most American road to success of all – sending the bill to someone else.

  • avatar
    macmcmacmac

    How many trillions spent destroying the infrastructure of other countries?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Best comment *PERIOD*

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      No forgiveness for Clinton bombing Yugo plant.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Yugo represented the worst of automobiles, probably the only good thing the Clinton Administration did (other than giving interns a hard time).

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          He did not give hard time. That was his cigar..

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          You might add the elimination of the debt to his list of “good” things…something that exploded under Trump and will continue to explode under Biden. As for his taste with interns, well….

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            oh, oh, oh… Bush was bad for debt. But Obama created more that Bush, Clinton and Another Bush together. Before COVID Trump added some debt but “only” $2T, which nothing vs Obama and Bush.

            This is democrats who pass these bills including billions to NPR and museums, and foreign transgender studies.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            …Bush was bad for debt. But Obama created more that Bush, Clinton and Another Bush together…

            Obama had to restore the US economy that was run into the ground by the greed of the financial industry. So it is understandable that he spent heavily to stimulate the economy. That global economic collapse was a Made in the USA disaster that spread to the rest of the industrialized world. Those who like to say “China virus” forget that America has plenty of skeletons in its closet…

            check out Thebalance dot com for plenty of info on debt and deficits…

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Clinton was able to ballance the budget because we had just relegated the USSR to the ashbin of history and as such were able to massively cut defense spending. He and Newt did work together to cut Welfare as well.

        Fiscally, I am a big Clinton fan. Too bad he is a terrible person.

        • 0 avatar
          tomLU86

          @Slavuta is more often correct than not.

          Time to set the record straight, @goldenhusky

          Clinton did as much to trim the deficit as he did to cause sunny days or snow or my LSAT score.

          He came on the tails of the Bush 1 recession. Thanks to the US economony outspending (deficit spending) the USSR on guns, and MORE IMPORTANTLY (Slavuta can confirm) the Soviet system, the USSR imploded. So Clinton was able to (and did) cut defense headcount, and slowed the rate of growth in defense spending. He harvested what the USSR itself sowed; Reagan just blew a little (no direct force, please note!–good job Ron) teetering Soviet edifice and it fell.

          Greenspan cut interest rates, reducing interest on the national debt. IT also stimulated the economy, increasing tax receipts.

          Finally, the price of oil DROPRED. Also stimulated the economy.

          Also, the 1994 GOP takeover of House and Senate resulted in gridlock, so no major new programs to spend money on where enacted.

          Clinton pushed for NAFTA. We all know how that worked out.

          Clinton pushed to repeal Glass-Steagall. YES HE DID. That culminated in the 2008-2009 crisis.

          Clinton launched an illegal war against people who did nothing to the US–the Yugos. That paved the way for Bushes megadisasters. Clinton was bad, Bush was worse. Obama governed as Bush light in terms of defense and foreign policy, while working as much as he could, subject to the considerable constraints of many AMERICAN institution, to remake America in his far-left image—but WITHOUT helping the working poor, who the Democrats purport to champion. That was deliberate.

          So please, let’s not talk about how “Clinton balanced the budget”. His personal life reflected his politics–an opportunist who would sell his mother for gain–just like he’s sold his title “former President”, since he left office.

          Trump had, has, many flaws. Even so, given the situation he inherited, he is, objectively, the best President in my lifetime. And that is a sad commentary on the US of A, for which Michigan’s pathetic roads are sad metaphor….and COVID is the big sinkhole waiting for us Americans to fall into.

          America had two bad choices–it chose, or the system chose (I believe we will never really know–and there is ample prececent) the even worse choice. The politicization of everything, much like picking your team, and d–n the consequences does not help.

          And it basically supports my original premise that too many Americans want something for nothing, and our roads (and leaders) reflect that.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            …Trump had, has, many flaws. Even so, given the situation he inherited, he is, objectively, the best President in my lifetime…

            He inherited a sound economy and strong country – and like everything else he inherited, he destroyed. He is by far the worst president this country has ever seen. He is a bitter, narcissistic baby. He ignored a pandemic and politicized it causing untold unnecessary deaths. A shame covid didn’t kill him.

            ..So please, let’s not talk about how “Clinton balanced the budget”. His personal life reflected his politics–an opportunist who would sell his mother for gain..

            Whatever value your post may have had was undone by those statements. Clinton had a lot of things work in his favor that he personally did not achieve but leveraged for his advantage. But presidents get to take credit – and are often forced to take blame – for things that they have little control over. Forget about selling out their mother for gain – Trump sold out the very foundation of democracy and tried to turn America into an Autocracy. He successfully made millions on his presidency despite laws against it. He was willing to sell out his VP – a man who was his personal lap dog – to the mob he sent to the Capitol to destroy our Democracy. His “super” job with the economy was just a continuation of the Obama economy. How you can find him the best president in recent history is mind boggling. That QAnon/Fox/OANN Kool-Aid is some powerful stuff. Wake the f&^% up.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            tomLU86,

            I think golden2husky is living in some sort of alternative reality and not worth to argue with. May be this is Pelosi herself. This is how it sounds.

            One point though is interesting, how do I care if this is autocracy or whatever. If the person tells me – you have this freedom, this freedom, everybody is free to do things, how do I care if this is autocracy? Why do I need a “democracy” that tells me that I a terrorist because I an Trump supporter? Hell with that democracy.

            For the USSR – American “historians” don’t understand or simply don’t want you to know the truth. I’ve heard Art here said that America bankrupted USSR. This is partially true. USSR was spending too much on the military. But this is not what made country break apart. America could never fully bankrupt USSR because USSR did not live in the dollar sphere. They operated in the closed circuit economy. In fact, America bankrupted Russia AFTER the fall of USSR. Many people are confused about it just like they are confused about Dec7 and 11 of 1941.
            USSR was supposed to sign new Union agreement where 15 republics + Crimea as separate entity would establish new rules of coexistence. But coup of the old commies threw this off. At that point presidents of republics against will of the people majority and unconstitutionally had met together in Belarus and signed separation agreement. But not all of them wanted out. In fact, most did not. Yeltsin being drunk !d!ot pushed them out. Just 3 years later, Belarus signs Union state agreement with Russia, which they are still working on today.

          • 0 avatar
            tomLU86

            Yes, Presidents get credit for things they had “no control” over–Clinton basked in the era of declining oil prices, lower interest rates, defense cuts–and with his Republican opponents in Congress, couldn’t do much. Carter got stuck with the hostages–his options were limited. To his credit, he also didn’t start any wars.

            Clinton broke with the working people of America to push the repeal of Glass-Steagall, with Republicans. That led to the crash of 2008.

            Clinton attacked Yugoslavia, setting a bad precedent for Bush Jr.

            Those are two things Clinton can get credit for. I don’t agree with them–I welcome anyone to explain how they helped the majority of Americans.

            2016 was an open field–Obama was not running. How is it, that in the big old US of A, only THREE people ran for the nomination? Lack of egos? One being a Socialist? What a choice Democratic voters had in 2016! They really had no choice actually, since the Dem party apparatus gamed it to make sure Hillary would win. Just in case. Why is that?

            The mob that attacked the Capitol killed no one–all the fatalities were among the demonstrators. They should, and will be charged. Trump did not tell them to attack.

            On the other hand, the Vice President of the US said “the demonstrations won’t stop–and they shouldn’t stop”. Yes, just burn everything–because torching a small shop run by an immigrant in Seattle or St Louis will rectify the real, and imagined, racism of police in Minneapolis. The riots this summer caused a lot more damage, physically, and to society.

            Trump did not inherit such a great economy. If it was great, Hillary Clinton would be President.

            Trump did not start any new wars. He did not, sadly, extricate the US from its existing wars, that are bleeding us dry. Obama took out Quadafi. How has that worked out for Libya and Europe? He bombed Syria? How did that work out? American casualties, pretty low. Certainly acceptable to the elite, whose kids aren’t in the army or marine corps. What about the countries involved–how many future terrorists did Obama create by getting involved in their destruction?

            Trump was knee-capped by the outgoing administration before he even became President. Like Schumer said “the intelligence community has seven ways from Sunday to get you”

            Trump confronted China–with admittedly mixed results, but he tried, unlike all the other administrations, that let China get wealthy, largely at the expense of middle America.

            Trump identified and tried to control the border.

            When Trump limited travel from China, he was call a racist by the Democrats.

            Trump listened to his advisors and in the future will probably be knocked for…”killing the economy”.

            His COVID stimulus, with bipartisan support, spending money we don’t have, will probably cause problems in the long run.

            Without COVID, despite his personality, he probably would have won.

            So, Trump had mixed results, yes. But given the acrimony and blatant bias this fellow had to contend with, I’d say he did pretty well. And many of his ideas, while not popular with the elite (who are all in for outsourcing jobs and importing cheap labor, and getting govt bailouts) are much better for the vast majority of Americans who must trade their time and labor for their income, vs trading trading assets.

            Some of his supporters think his personality helped him “deal with the swamp”. I don’t agree–I think if he has some self-discipline, he would have been a lot less dislikeable, and gotten re-elected. But I don’t think, in the end, it would help with the results. The big interests of defense industry, big tech, and Wall St were to threatened by this amateur outsider.

            America had serious problems before–the roads are among the lesser ones, but that’s what brings us here. They stem from the ‘something for nothing’ mentality of too many Americans, and the politicians of BOTH parties who encourage this and say anything to get elected, while doing the bidding of the elite.

            I do agree with you that the global economic collapse of 2008-09 was made in Wall St–just plain greed in action–and why not, since there were no legal consequences, and Bush and Obama bailed out Wall St. With no real changes. If banks were “too big to fail” in 2008, are they smaller now?

            If Clinton hadn’t succeeded in removing Glass-Steagall, we probably would not have had 2008-09.

            I think if you follow the careers of Bill Clinton, Robert Rubin, Hillary Clinton, Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, Barak Obama, and Janet Yellen, you will see that AFTER they leave their govt positions, they earn MILLIONS in “honoraria” and other forms of income, from big banks, Wall St, and other entities. Don’t you find that odd?

            We’ll see how much Trump gets from Wall St.

            This is why the conversation here should stick to cars. Because leaving cars, and looking at reality, is rather depressing. And many of the statements here can’t go unanswered.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            tomLU86,

            nice said

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Quadtrillions at this point.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    “Trump also attempted to address issues like roadways and airports but was repeatedly blocked by lawmakers on passing a comprehensive bill dealing with either.”

    That statement ignores the fact that the orange moron had a bigly senate and congressional majority the first two years of his term and still could not get anything done….well…other than a tax break for 0.1%

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      His financing mechanism was also smoke and mirrors. Since he knew his party’s congressional delegation wouldn’t actually spend federal funds unless those funds went directly into the pockets of their donors, so he tried to propose a package entirely funded by after-the-fact tax credits. Had he passed his package, it’s pretty likely that little or nothing would have actually gotten built.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      I don’t remember any welfare recipient or just a poor person creating any jobs in America besides government jobs to write checks to them.

      Stop this BS. Trump changed Tax Code. Today my standard deduction is so high that I don’t even need to count my mortgage interest and property tax, etc. Regular people kept more of their money and household income reached record high by far under Trump.

      There was a glitch in the first year, when employers switched to the new code and people ended up not paying enough payroll taxes. Many people spent these money and needed to pay income tax. When Biden removed Trump’s law with his executive order, next income tax, you will be paying $2,000 more

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @slavuto – you’re the one spewing BS.

        “The key finding of a new study from the London School of Economics confirms that tax cuts benefited the rich while failing to improve economic performance.”

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “In fact, it is small business — firms with fewer than 500 employees — that drives the U.S. economy by providing jobs for over half of the nation’s private workforce. … “Small business drives the American economy,” said Dr. Chad Moutray, Chief Economist for the Office of Advocacy in a press release.Jan. 2, 2021″

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Lets not cry about Gates and Bezos. Both weren’t randomly successful. Gats came from a family of important lawyer and his mother was CEO or something like that. And Bezos went to Prinston and worked on Wall street. So, comparing these 2 to a welfare recipient or even a small business entrepreneur…

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        slavuta, more bull from you. The first year of the “Tax act to enrich those who are already rich” saw me get a bigger refund, true. Last year, my refund was nearly half that of what I usually received prior to Trump. This year I owe thousands. The benefits for the under 200K crowd are sunsetting out, but not for the rich. And spare me the BS about the wealthy making most of the jobs possible. Consumer spending drives 70% of the economic activity in this country. Nothing wrong with being rich, but the rules should not be set to make the fat cats’ lives easier at the expense of everyone else. They should pay the same percentage that a guy making 100K does. Paying for infrastructure would be pretty easy then.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Bloomberg: The Trump Tax Cut Wasn’t Just for the Rich
          It was far from perfect, but it did boost middle-class incomes.

          https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-27/the-trump-tax-cut-wasn-t-just-for-the-rich

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            From your link:

            “In 2025, according to the Tax Policy Center, the top 1% would get 25% of the cut. That’s still a lot, but keep in mind that the top 1% also pay a lot.

            After-tax incomes of people in the top 1% are estimated by the Tax Policy Center to rise 2.9% in 2025 vs. a scenario of no change in the tax law. Here are the estimated increases for everyone else: the bottom fifth of households, up 0.4%; second fifth, up 0.9%; middle fifth, up 1.3%; fourth fifth, up 1.4%; and top fifth (which includes the top 1%), up 2.3%”

            That’s highly biased toward the wealthiest people. When the breaks for us RiffRaff completely expire, it gets even worse. As for the top 1% “paying a lot”, in terms of total dollars that is true. But HIGHLY misleading. In terms of percentage of tax relative to income, the fat cats pay the least. Paying $100K in taxes when you have earnings of 5 million is not an equitable dynamic compared to somebody who makes $100K and pays $20K in tax.

            If I had my way, everyone who makes over $50K a year would pay the same percentage of income tax per year.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Everyone should pay the same percent. And credits should only be able to take you to zero liability…not like the “Earned Income Credit” and Child Tax Credits which can enable you to get back more than you paid in.

          It’s earned…as in it is money someone else earned which the government took and gave to the receipient.

          I’d prefer a national sales tax honestly.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        “I don’t remember any welfare recipient or just a poor person creating any jobs in America besides government jobs to write checks to them.”

        https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/03/welfare-makes-america-more-entrepreneurial/388598/

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          mcs,

          to me this seem like an opinion article. Someone opens the business and then they fail and go on welfare. But they feel entrepreneurial because they feel their back is covered. We know that 20% of these people fail in 1st year and 50% by year 5. This is a feel-good article that still does not override the fact that many people on welfare don’t want to work.
          A single mother in IL will try to have 3 children and that will give her $60K welfare money. And thousands do that not to work. I have a stat somewhere, about IL welfare program. If you care.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos weren’t billionaires when they started out.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I mean, I could be a billionaire too had I just ripped off Digital Research’s OS back at the dawn of the PC era.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            “just ripped off Digital Research’s OS”

            No, MS-DOS was definitely an improvement over CP/M when it was first released. CP/M was only 8 bit at the time and in addition to being 16 bit, there were some annoying bugs that were in CP/M that weren’t in MS-DOS. I was actually in the thick of things back in the day and knew, worked with, and hung out with Gates back then. The OS functions were compatible, but that was a trivial thing at the time. It definitely was different code than CP/M and much better. Definitely not a ripoff, but a big improvement.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Fair enough @MCS. I’ll defer to you on that. I’ve played with CP/M in emulation just because and it feels very DOS like. The only OS I’ve used professionally from that era was RSTS/e on a DEC PDP 11/70 and 11/84 systems (I am a DEC fanboy as a result…how they blew it is another discussion).

            So is all the digital research lore true…that IBM wanted to use it but couldn’t get anyone on the phone so they went with MS-DOS?

            It is a great regret of mine I missed out on that era (not that I could do anything about it lol). I came of age in the C64 era with the first PC in my home being a Tandy 1000 hx. The 486DX2 based machine that replaced it may as well have been the space shuttle. God I miss that era

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            !!/70’s I know too! Always loved the light display with RSTS/E! Even had my hands on an 11/74 once. I worked with that funny phone company operating system mostly. Used to be able to toggle bootloaders on the front panel toggle switches. To this day I still remember the 12737 instruction. Ah, the days of putting in ECOs with a wire wrap tool in hand.

            Now I’m into the next era with machines like the HPE Cray EX with AMD EPYC combined with Xilinx FPGAs for a next-generation AI that’s still being defined. Still using a variant of the OS I used as a teenage-intern. The old hardware design and logic skills from the 11/70 days come in handy with the FPGAs. Instead of a wirewrap tool, I use a language called Verilog which does the same thing.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I still have that 11/70’s blinkenlight front panel with the 2001 looking switches. It got what had to be one of the last upgrades done by DEC on a PDP system circa 1995 (It may have actually been post-DEC) and that panel was eliminated as part of the upgrade. I had it hanging on the wall in my barracks room for most of the time I was there. I’d like to hook it to a Raspberry Pi running RSTS/E in emulation. Some dude actually builds such a set up with a miniturized version of that panel.

            Like I said, it is the first computer I ever worked on professionally so I have a soft spot for them. We migrated to a Windows NT based network around 1998 and shut it down. That actually got me another oddball machine, a DEC Alpha 2 processor server. Seeing NT boot on it and find both processors was crazy back in the day lol. Like I said, I love that era.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            …I still have that 11/70’s blinkenlight front panel with the 2001 looking switches. It got what had to be one of the last upgrades done by DEC on a PDP system circa 1995…

            A PDP system…that made me smile. In Jr. High School we had a DEC PDP 8/e and a PDP 11. We also had a separate dual tape drive and three Teleypes. This was in 1975. I remeber those yellowish and brownish switches.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        In red states you may think that Trump cut taxes. But that’s not how it worked out for people in higher-tax blue states. His SALT deduction cap raised my taxes by more than his rate cuts cut them.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @slavuta–You brought up an interesting topic about in road construction. Years ago Senator John Chafee from Rhode Island tried to pass a law that would allow used tires to be used in road construction but the lobbyists kept it from being passed. There were roads out west that were repaved using ground up tires and these roads required less maintenance and were less costly to repave. In other words the roads lasted longer regardless of extreme weather conditions and under heavy usage such as heavy truck. This would also have solved the problem of what to do with the mounting problem of what to do with used tires.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      This is what I’ve read looooooon ago – asphalt lobby killed the rubber.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Darn right. They’re not looking out for our best interests. Nobody is. We’re lucky to get anything after they get theirs.

        If you ever stand at the roadside when a heavy truck is coming at you fast, right before it passes, you feel the ground raise, not unlike the wake of a boat. So yes the roads need more flex.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        When I read slavuto’s posts, I too wish more rubbers were used.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Here are some links to using used tires in road construction.

    https://www.sciencealert.com/old-tyres-and-rubble-could-make-up-the-sustainable-roads-of-the-future

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200729114739.htm

    Recycled tires can end potholes

    https://www.giatecscientific.com/education/how-recycled-tires-can-put-an-end-to-potholes-forever/

    Sen John Chafee’s pending road legislation

    https://books.google.com/books?id=2bcaAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA2&lpg=PA2&dq=john+chafee+on+using+used+tires+in+road+construction&source=bl&ots=AEL-mK_i7b&sig=ACfU3U2zLSZxBi4LVHCB-VkNnkfvRUtMww&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiZk-jYz5vvAhXOB80KHQ2qAlIQ6AEwBXoECBEQAw#v=onepage&q=john%20chafee%20on%20using%20used%20tires%20in%20road%20construction&f=false

  • avatar
    chris724

    I think most road damage is caused by snow-plows. They plow more than just snow.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      During my time in the Army way up at Fort Drum the plows on post would not scrape all the way to road level for this reason. I lived on Post and drive my Miata on all seasons year round. I didn’t have far and just treated my commute like running on a dirt track with the occasional pull of the handbrake to get it turning. Good times.

      Only issue I ever had was trying to drive over the ledge the plow would leave at the end of my driveway when I was running late for PT. Half the time I’d get over it. The other half I’d high center and be really late.

    • 0 avatar
      Tele Vision

      I build and maintain roads. The most damage is caused by shady contractors billing for a twelve-inch lift of pitrun but only putting in eight inches. Or billing for 2′ of clay but only installing 1’4″. That kind of difference will put a kid through University and buy a nice third home for said contractor.

      Plows run on ‘float’ so, while they may look like they’re scarifying the road top, they are barely touching it. This is both to save the road top and to save on carbide blades – neither of which are cheap.

      A cheaply-built road is easy to spot: swales in the road top are a dead giveaway. When a supposed 50-year road swales out in 10 years you know that someone made a lot of money putting in half of the road they were paid to build. The degradation is then accelerated by water remaining in the swales. It doesn’t do much if left alone but the hydraulic shock of tires hitting that water at 75 MPH is incredibly damaging to the road top.

      Overloaded transport trucks cause the second-most amount of damage. Cars – no matter how many – do comparatively zero damage to well-built asphalt roads.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Tele Vision – agreed. A properly set up plow truck isn’t going to damage the road. I’ve seen graders leave some marks but that in itself isn’t too bad. Basically, as you said, cutting corners on road subgrades will result in a shortened road life. Engineers making mistakes on assessing drainage or soil composition can also lead to shortened road life.
        Changes in weather are also an issue. I don’t see as many sub-zero days in the winter now as opposed to my youth. Very cold weather was great for extended road life due to frozen ground. Freeze/thaw cycles pry roads appart.

        • 0 avatar
          Tele Vision

          @Lou_BC

          By trade I’m a finishing grader operator.

          Graders can float the blade on frozen asphalt and oiled roads but little else. Our plow trucks are set up to literally float their blades but, in a grader, ‘float’ includes the weight of not just the mouldboard and blades but also the circle and A-frame. Lotta weight compared to a plow truck’s blade, even with the ‘blade cushion’ switch activated ( Caterpillar 14M/160M ). The bigger issue is the snow wing: that thing can cause a lot of damage to both the grader AND the landscape…

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      It is very common for the trucks around here to scrape of the reflective markers and the like but I’ve never seen any other damage done by the plow. That is will people who only operate a plow 1 or 2 days at a time and may go a couple of years between doing so.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    If you are going to deficit spend, deficit spend on infrastructure. Look at it from an accounting standpoint, when you spend money on a transfer payment, like the $1400 covid payments to individuals, you are not building any assets. When you build infrastructure, yeah, you have an expense, but you have a counterweight asset to balance against it. We are still reaping the benefits of depression-era spending on public buildings, dams, parks, etc.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agree about the spending on roads and agree when roads are not properly built. We could build roads that would last but those in the contract business don’t want that. If we did build roads that lasted it would leave funds to build new roads where they are needed. I can think of several areas in Kentucky and Ohio where more East and West roads would allow businesses and warehouses to develop which would provide more jobs. Trying to reduce the number of cars and trucks from roads will not help those who need jobs. As for mass transit I take that into downtown Cincinnati when I have to go in the office but mass transit in most cities is not an answer for those who commute to suburban areas that they do not live in.

  • avatar
    Yankee

    Gee Matt, sorry your orange candidate lost. But I hear Faux News is hiring. I think your “talents” for selective quotation would be truly prized there.

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      Which faux news is that? CNN? NYT? MSNBC? You need to be more specific — there are so many nonsense news networks going these days.

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      slavuta,

      “do you think AmeriKa can’t be worse than USSR?”

      Sadly, I believe Amerika can be much worse than the USSR. Get communism/socialism (or whatever you want to call that form of mind f!_!ck totalitarianism) all revved up in the good old US of A and we’ll show the world how to do absolute hell.

  • avatar
    kkop

    What bad roads? The roads here in Georgia (and most states around us) are actually pretty good. Exceptions to this rule are usually roads maintained by local government, such as Atlanta. Generally though roads are great.

    We feel like this especially after visiting relatives in Michigan :-p How a state whose livelihood is largely dependent on the manufacture of automobiles can at the same time have such a shoddy infrastructure for automobiles is a mystery to us.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J

      I live in Bama. The roads are aweful.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        PA says you don’t even know what awful is, sir.

        • 0 avatar
          Old_WRX

          28-Cars-Later,

          “PA says you don’t even know what awful is, sir.”

          PA has a great tradition of terrible roads including a veritable love affair with worn out concrete. Pa is dedicated to worn out concrete that has only slightly more traction when wet than black ice.

          I remember when coming up the coast on I95 it was like dropping off the edge of the earth crossing form DE into PA. I was surprised that there weren’t a lot of billboards advertising things like alignments and tires — seems like a real opportunity missed.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      This list is interesting (scroll to the table at the very bottom of the article and click on “States” at the far right) – this gives you by-state rankings, but it focuses on “urban” roads:
      https://www.copilotsearch.com/posts/cities-with-the-worst-roads/

      For all roads (by state), see pages 21-22 here [but beware the double asterisk]:
      https://t4america.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Repair-Priorities-2019.pdf

      Note that some of the stars are in relatively cold climates, and some of the biggest losers aren’t (California, Hawaii).

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