The Human Cost

Aug. 20, 2019
Gx As Blog

It’s always been important to realize the economic cost of having poor infrastructure. Roads and railways, ports and airports, water and power, etc. are all in need of repair and/or replacement. Infrastructure is important to the well-being of our communities, healthcare, education, and jobs. 

This isn’t a new argument for infrastructure. It’s a good argument. But it may not be enough to push those who have the power to do something into action. Maybe they need to hear about the human cost of ignoring failing infrastructure.  

About a year ago, the Morandi Bridge in Genoa, Italy, collapsed. 43 people died. The bridge was built in the late 1960s and had fallen into a significantly aged state. 

Helen Grady and Alice Gioia of the BBC World Service, Genoa, recently wrote a piece titled “The 'Poetry of Concrete' and the Tragedy of a Broken Bridge” which is posted on The writers put together the poignant stories of seven people deeply affected by the horrific event. 

There are the brothers who hugged and said goodbye for the last time. A survivor who was in his car and on the bridge when it gave way tells his story. An engineer whose team had plans to reinforce the pylon that eventually gave way speaks out. Their work was scheduled to take place one month after the collapse. Take time to read this eye-opening article.  

Last month, City News, Toronto, posted the following video of the moment the Morandi Bridge collapsed. The video was released by Italian authorities. 

There may not have been a massive failure here in the US like the one in Genoa last year in which dozens of lives were lost. But how many lives have been lost on a daily basis because of failing infrastructure. What tragedies are in store for the people of Flint, MI, and Newark, NJ?  

A lot is said about the amount of money it would take to get our country’s entire infrastructure into good working order. Maybe we should be saying more about what it’s costing in terms of the lives of fathers, brothers, mothers, and daughters being lost.