The Tex Wash Washout in California and in Congress

The Tex Wash Washout in California and in Congress


Winter is coming…


That was my first thought when I heard the Tex Wash bridge on I-10 near Desert Center, California, had been torn away by a wall of water racing down a normally dry channel. Dusty, dry California is looking at a windy, rainy El Nino-driven winter and there are hundreds of bridges similar to the Tex Wash waiting in the path of the resulting rush of water. Will we heed the warning?


Certainly, state and local authorities reacted quickly to the shut down of a main transportation artery, getting the roadway partially open in a matter of days. Projections for rebuilding and re-opening the bridge have the repairs completed in only a couple of months. Easy peasy. It will be almost like it never happened. But in our hurry to get things back to normal we need to prepare for the not-normal weather headed our way. Now is the time to take a closer look at similar bridges and roadways and apply this new-found momentum towards getting them ready for the coming storms.


This week your duly elected US Representatives and Senators are facing yet another deadline regarding the Highway Trust Fund. It’s a rerun of just about every other deadline squabble (33 and counting!) that’s happened since Congress failed to pass long-term legislation over six years ago. A portion of funding for fixing those bridges and other aspects of California’s infrastructure comes from that Trust Fund. The ability to plan for comprehensive maintenance, repairs, and upgrades to our roads and bridges depends on a long-term, reliably funded system. The short term “patches” Congress has been stitching together just won’t cut it.


The deadline is this Friday. Members of the House of Representatives say they won’t accept the Senate’s bill. Senators say they won’t accept the House’s latest “patch”. If you think this will end well Friday afternoon, well, you know nothing, Jon Snow…








Author: Marijane Miller

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