John's Blog - Culvert Infrastructure
We are hearing a lot in the local press about the sad state of our infrastructure here in Illinois. So high kudos are in order to the City of Crystal Lake for its Culvert Improvement Project.
The current issue of the Crystal Lake's City Letter details the five culvert replacement projects that will occur this coming construction season. Crystal Creek flows from Crystal Lake under various roads which will need to be closed during construction. While this will be a pain traffic wise, just remember that some of these culverts 50 to 75 years old and if they do no do their jobs.....well flooding a collapsed roads are sure to follow. For more information check out the City Letter or the City's webpage at www.crystallake.org. Also, you can follow the City on Facebook or Twitter or sign up to receive project updates by sending your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once again, an excellent use of your tax dollars by the City to maintain our infrastructure.
But why is it so difficult for the State and other units of government to keep up their obligations to maintain what we have? Well for one, maintaining roads, sewers, street lights, etc. isn't glitzy. You don't see folks cutting ribbons once a road is repaved or culvert replaced. Our infrastructure becomes out of sight and out of mind unless a catastrophic failure occurs. Proper maintenance is also the first item in government that gets the budget ax when elected officials are looking to cut costs, i.e. four year of the past Governor who refused to address this issue with a capital improvements bill. In Illinois this is further complicated by the fact that most folks believe that sufficient funds are already available to do the job. Check out this weeks AAA survey of voters on the quality of Illinois roads and how to pay for delayed maintenance (which by the way is always more expensive). The vast majority of Illinoisans believe road and bridges are good to fair, support increased maintenance, but believe that sufficient funds are there to do the job if bureaucrats would do their jobs and graft and corruption were eliminated. Sorry, even if Illinois became the model of efficient and effective government sufficient money cannot be rung from the system to address the needs.
So bottom line, when considering candidates for government at any level of government, quiz them on their strategies to maintain the infrastructure we come to expect of our cities, counties and state. Your quality of life depends upon it.