The staff editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial board of The Murray State News.
The recently destroyed bridge over Kentucky Lake is raising a number of questions about the integrity of this area’s roads and infrastructure.
The same conversation was sparked a few years ago after the collapse of a bridge in Minneapolis. The causes for their fall may be very different, but the question is still one and the same. How long will it take our country to realize the state of our infrastructure is not acceptable and falling apart at the seams? Even after massive funding from the Obama administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which funded hundreds, if not thousands, of new projects around the country we are left with an outdated internal system.
There are many culprits in the lead up to this mess. The federal government is one, as surely there needs to be more oversight and standards in how we run our infrastructure. But more than any other the state of Kentucky should be owning up to the neglect of its own roads and bridges across the state. Gov. Steve Beshear thinks he can slap a federal road sign on any highway and it automatically becomes interstate gold.
Last week proved that is just one more fantasy the governor fills his imagination with when it comes to the well-being of citizens and communities across the Commonwealth.
President Randy Dunn said the loss of this important structure will be enough to make a major impact on the University and the city of Murray.
“Well it affected the University in some exponential ways,” Dunn said. “First and foremost is the safety of our students, particularly commuting students, as well as employees who cross that bridge everyday to get to and from the Murray campus. We don’t really have anything to offer them but the patience of the campus. I think it was a wise move very early on to counsel faculty and staff to extend patience with those folks who commute everyday for the additional time it’s going to take them and some of the hardship that’s going to be added on to some of the families.”
The effects of this situation will not only be felt on campus, but across the region. Without that crossing many residents and commuters will find other gas stations to get their fuel, other towns to visit and plenty of other communities to spend their money. The economic impacts are unknown. Let’s hope they aren’t too damaging.
All in all, the least this government could do is find a way to get the funding for the new, already planned bridge or a decent sized ferry to give a leg up to those who will be hit hardest by the aftermath of this bizarre event.