Crumbling infrastructure, crumbling society

It’s interesting to drive over medieval and Roman-era bridges in Europe, then witness reports like these coming out of progressive Not-America:

Atlanta’s notoriously tangled commutes were thrown into disarray Friday after a massive fire caused a bridge on Interstate 85 to collapse, completely shutting down the heavily traveled highway through the heart of the city.

Traffic was bumper to bumper on nearby streets as people scrambled to find alternate routes after the fire broke out during rush hour Thursday afternoon. However, officials said no one was hurt despite dramatic images of towering flames and plumes of smoke.

“This is about as serious a transportation crisis as we can imagine,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said.

As a result of the interstate damage, many commuters in some of Atlanta’s densely populated northern suburbs will be forced to find alternate routes or ride public transit for the foreseeable future.

Georgia’s top transportation official said there’s no way to tell when the highway, which carries 250,000 cars a day, can be safely reopened to traffic in either direction following the collapse in the northbound lanes leading out of the city.

“We will have to continue to evaluate the situation and adjust as we do,” Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry said. “This incident — make no bones about it — will have a tremendous impact on travel.”

McMurry said Friday in a news release that bridge inspectors have determined the southbound lanes of I-85, adjacent to the section that collapsed, also were damaged by the fire and will need to remain closed for the foreseeable future.

It is average IQ that is the prime determinant of what a society will be like. And according to my calculations, the average US IQ has declined by at least eight points since 1965. If you don’t maintain your population demographics, both in terms of quantity and quality, your society will decline. And if you don’t maintain your infrastructure, it will collapse.

Unfortunately, addressing either problem, let alone actually doing anything to fix them, is presently considered unthinkable. That will change, sooner or later, but how soon it changes will play a significant role in the shape of the eventual outcome.