It’s been a bad summer for maintenance, especially in New York. Last month Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, underscoring a problem that New York subway riders understand all too well: The M.T.A. relies heavily on emergency repairs because it does not conduct sufficient preventive upkeep. Likewise, in the wake of two recent derailments that caused major disruptions, Pennsylvania Station this month closed aging tracks for repairs and reduced the number of trains serving the station — another example of the costs of neglecting maintenance.
Sadly, the neglect of maintenance is not limited to New York, public transit or this summer. All varieties of American infrastructure — roads, bridges, airports, sewers — are in decrepit condition. Lead poisons the water systems of Flint, Mich., and hundreds of other cities and towns across the nation. The American Society of Civil Engineers considers 17 percent of American dams to be “high hazard potential,” including the one outside Oroville, Calif., that nearly collapsed in February.
Read the rest of the story at the New York Times.