Rep. Grijalva Reacts to Interstate 10 Bridge Collapse
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) released the following statement reacting to the collapse of the Tex Wash Bridge on Interstate 10 between Arizona and California. The collapse, which severed a major route between Southern California and Arizona, occurred the weekend after House Republicans refused to pass a long-term highway funding bill, instead passing another short term patch.
“Just one week after Congressional Republicans once again refused to adequately fund transportation infrastructure in our country, we are seeing in stark terms exactly why that funding is so crucial,” Rep. Grijalva said. “I am relieved that the driver injured in the I-10 bridge collapse is recovering and that others weren’t harmed in an incident that could have easily been much worse.
“This is the unnerving, and sadly predictable result of Congressional neglect when it comes to keeping our roads and bridges in good repair,” Grijalva continued. “When Republicans pushed a short-term funding fix last year, I voted for it in hopes that it would pave the way to more substantial investments. When Republicans tried to pull the same scheme just last week, I voted no. At some point, we have to say enough is enough to insufficient patchwork responses to our country’s grave infrastructure needs. We must pass a properly funded long-term highway bill immediately. We cannot allow it to be burdened with political gamesmanship or disingenuous offsets. Congress needs to take this seriously to prevent similar infrastructure faults, and ensure that drivers get from point A to point B safely.
“Not only was this bridge collapse dangerous, but with as many as 24,000 vehicles relying on I-10 every day – and nearly one third of that traffic attributed to commercial trucks – this will also have a severe impact on economies in both states as well,” Grijalva added. “This must be a wake-up call to Republicans in Congress that short-term funding gaps will only continue endangering lives and sewing uncertainty for local contractors who are working with the funding we give them in real-time.”
According to TRIP, a national transportation research group, 17 percent of Arizona’s urban roads are in poor condition and 12 percent of Arizona’s bridges are rated as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Driving on roads in need of repair costs Arizona motorists $1.5 billion a year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs – $318 per motorist.