FOR WANT OF A NAIL

Our total transportation investment is jeopardized by the neglect of maintenance. The author considers the effects of such neglect on the various areas of transportation. Due to deferment of maintenance, railroads are now in critical trouble. Though deterioration of rails and ties reached a critical point in the 1960's, concurrent financial pressures further delayed maintenance and instead forced railroads into operation of heavier trains, exacerbating an already critical situation. The current popular disinterest in highways portends a similar disaster in that area. Immediate highway maintenance needs, combined with spiraling maintenance costs and a trend toward heavier vehicles, call for investments of $8 to $10 billion annually. The author considers increased vehicle size and weight as it affects each mode. The opportunity for foresight with respect to maintenance needs exists with urban transportation systems. The author comments on some factors to be considered in planning such systems. Mention is made of the problems surrounding maintenance of waterways and air traffic control systems, and of the necessity for continuance of an electric power supply. Costs surrounding transport of hazardous materials are discussed, as are the options for solution of the above-mentioned problems. Common funding seems to be the trend; combined with research, successful maintenance of our transportation systems might be accomplished.

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 9-13
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00125451
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Nov 5 1982 12:00AM