When a state reaches a certain level of decay, it begins to produce metaphors for itself. Here’s the latest from Rhode Island:
Two-inch-thick slabs of concrete fell from the Broadway bridge over Route 95 just as rush hour began around 3 p.m., R.I. Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti said Tuesday afternoon. No one was injured and no vehicles were damaged, he said, because pipes that carry utilities under the bridge caught the pieces.
A crumbling government-owned bridge creates a massive traffic jamb, which is actually and metaphorically an expensive drain on people’s productivity. Instead of getting where they were going, people were stuck doing nothing because they could not move.
And the metaphor continues: The state has accelerated its speed reviewing and investigating the problem and will decide whether it has to restrict what people can do while it gets around to fixing things. Meanwhile, even if the Department of Transportation decides to fix this bridge sooner, whatever road used to be considered a higher priority than this one will continue deteriorating.
As ever, the solution will include a plea for more money, because we’re too busy watching for falling concrete ever to look around on the ground for things that maybe shouldn’t be absorbing our resources.
Featured image: An overpass in East Providence, since repaired, that used to be one of Rhode Island’s biggest infrastructure metaphors.