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Condo collapse: As search goes on, how can we be safer?

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29.06.2021

Infrastructure is a joke, a bore, a long-running public policy frustration. This past week it’s been an unimaginable tragedy and a reminder that we never have as much time as we think – in our lives, with our families and in our political life, where so much time is spent scoring points instead of making sure the nation is safe and thriving.

It was an accident of fate that the bipartisan infrastructure deal long sought by President Joe Biden came to fruition on the same day that a 12-story condo building partially collapsed in Surfside, Florida, claiming what surely will be scores of lives and destroying countless others.

It is not clear what caused the catastrophic failure, but building experts are weighing climate change impact as a possible factor – including rising tides, flooding, corrosion, cracked concrete, a sinking building, 40-year-old building standards inadequate to current challenges, and a 2018 report that found problems but did not spark the proper urgency. Repairs were finally about to begin, nearly three years later.

A major investment in infrastructure has been the supposed holy grail all across the political spectrum for more than a decade. Somehow, between arguments over how to pay for it and interruptions like the COVID-19 pandemic, we have never done what is necessary to be........

© USA TODAY


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