Equipment Type

An Ironic Moment

October 06, 2011

Rod Sutton is editorial director of Construction Equipment magazine. He is in charge of editorial strategy and writes a monthly column for the magazine, The Sutton Report. He has more than 30 years in construction journalism, and has been with Construction Equipment since 2001.

Living close to Louisville, I always drive to ICUEE. It's early autumn; it's a nice drive. On Monday, as I was driving through the southern section of Indiana, I received a phone call that the I-64 bridge was out.

In past years, that wouldn't concern me, but this year we had opted for a hotel that was 8 miles away from that bridge. I had mapped out my drive to the hotel, to the convention center where ICUEE was located, and back to the hotel at night.

My plans disintegrated with that news.

For those of you not familiar with Louisville, three Interstate highways run through the city. Now, all three would be funneling over the I-65 bridge.

We survived the ordeal, although every person who complained about being 10 or 15 miles away from the show I said, "At least you're not staying in Indiana."

The irony was not lost on any attendee of a show centered on construction equipment. As skid steers and excavators demo'd in the dirt, a local bridge had been closed because cracks were discovered in the bridge deck.

I'll bet that bridge showed up on one of TRIP's reports on deficiencies, and I'll also bet it was due for some serious repairs years ago. Even so, we were all thankful that the inspection caught the problem before we had a bridge collapse into the Ohio River.

We need to invest in our roads and our bridges. We also need to look at our utility infrastructure: sewer, water, power. Delay has compounded this nation's problems. Every day of further delay exposes us to another potential disaster, whether it's a collapsing bridge or an exploding pipeline.

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