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  • 1.  Reflections on imminent infrastructure failure(s)

    Posted 04-08-2024 10:40 AM

    Given that we have many modern tools and methods in hand – the question is why such old bridges, dams, etc., are let to remain functioning without public warnings of imminent failures – without some sorts of retrofitting – if there were instances of inadequacy and deterioration?

    Q. What R, R, A do engineering societies and associations have within their org-structure to plan, organize, and lead the way to:

    1. Identify such hazards publicly.

    2. Facilitate a consortium of related societies along with private and public groups to address such matters.

    It would be great to take on the leadership of such prior to more "Sudden Disasters."

    Cheers,

    Bill



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    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
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  • 2.  RE: Reflections on imminent infrastructure failure(s)

    Posted 04-16-2024 12:43 PM

    In southern India has a problem too is between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the very old masonry Dam Mullaperiyar I'm confident in handling over to TN Engineers, but while seeing this write up, I suggested that ASCE South Indian regions may look into the matter and why should not study and report of decommissioning. It's the middle third rule that matters. It could not be dismantling all of a sudden because of water hammer (?) . When dismantling the remaining structure may be failed due to the absence of balanced force system? What is the real issues for decommissioning?

    Alex Thomas BSc AMIE civ FIE CEng M ASCE REng



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    Alex Thomas R.Eng, C.Eng, M.ASCE
    Senior Site Engineer
    Geo Structurals Pvt Ltd
    CochinAlexThomasR.Eng, C.Eng, M.ASCEIndia
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  • 3.  RE: Reflections on imminent infrastructure failure(s)

    Posted 04-25-2024 12:34 PM

    Bill,

    I have been on both sides of this issue, first as a Contractor and now as a Professional Engineer.  You asked a simple question with a complex and lengthy answer, so please don't take this for a complete answer.  Our system needs an overhaul from the top down; politicians should never make infrastructure decisions; they are rarely qualified. Our system is mainly based on a "we can pay for it" approach and not a "we can pay for it and maintain it".  Take, for example, a small sewer project I worked on 10 years ago.  Millions of dollars were spent to bring the aging system into EPA compliance, a small tax increase was placed on the locals, and the politicians promised as soon as the bond was paid, the tax would go away.  No rate increases were implemented, and the tax will soon be lifted.  That sewer district will now have the same number of customers, with an increased cost of infrastructure and no means to maintain it. You can see this on almost all infrastructure projects.  

    Additionally, government engineering jobs typically do not reward hard-working engineers.  Most young engineers driven to excellence find the private sector more appealing, not just for the money.  The current system rewards the "yes" men and women; almost all of these positions are appointed by a politician. 

        



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    W Jones P.E., M.ASCE
    Engineer
    Salem IN
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  • 4.  RE: Reflections on imminent infrastructure failure(s)

    Posted 04-25-2024 11:48 PM

    ASCE regularly compiles and disseminates infrastructure report cards for each of the 50 states. What more would you like to see? The responsibility for keeping up the infrastructure vests with the owners. I see the report card as the ASCE discharging its responsibility to these entities and the public to show shortcomings and expose risks.



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    Mitch Winkler P.E.(inactive), M.ASCE
    Houston, TX
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  • 5.  RE: Reflections on imminent infrastructure failure(s)

    Posted 29 days ago

    Thanks to each and all above for their insight.

    Re: "What more would you like to see? The responsibility for keeping up the infrastructure vests with the owners"

    #1. We have to lose the finger-pointing game.

    That game of the past  does not work.

    #2. Form a "National Infrastructure Quality & Safety Coalition." (NIQSC).

    #3. Membership in the NIQSC will represent the leadership of the entities that have the knowledge

    and expertise to move from "Expression of horror at collapses and loss of life" to action.

    And "Yes," of course there is more to this.

    A. We do NOT need "Improvement."

    B. We need "Re-engineering."

    Cheers,

    Bill

    p.s. "....to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public" will NOT happen if you linger in the

    "Not my job" box.



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
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