Aging Highways and Infrastructure

Aging Highways and Infrastructure

Much of America’s existing transportation infrastructure was planned and constructed beginning in the 1950s. As these systems age, they present public safety hazards and require extensive repairs, maintenance, and in some cases, replacement. This is a multi-billion dollar industry and is only growing as these structures continue to age and sustain damage caused by rust and other exposure to their elements.

In some cases, rural infrastructure wasn’t designed to handle the loads and traffic that have developed over the past decades and needs to be replaced entirely. This is especially true with bridges and overpasses. In the past two decades, there have been numerous incidents that resulted in bridges collapsing, causing death and injuries.

From the 1950s through the 1970s, that vast network of highways constructed in America was a model for international infrastructure projects. However, we are now seeing the need to repair and replace these systems for a number of reasons. There are a variety of factors that can damage infrastructure ranging from designs that are not capable of modern demands to damage from the elements or severe weather events.

Federal Funding to Improve Infrastructure

The Federal government has recognized the need to make improvements to America’s aging transportation infrastructure, especially bridges and highways. A bill passed in 2021 allocated nearly $150 billion to address these issues. $40 billion of this is specifically dedicated to improving aging transportation infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and highways.

The cost of infrastructure is higher in the United States than any other nation. Though, it’s proven to benefit local communities when money is put back into the economy through public-private partnerships that improve existing infrastructure.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) releases a report card on the nation’s infrastructure every four years. The most recent report earned a C-, up from the previous two decades’ D+. This slow improvement illustrates the importance of these improvements and their implication for public safety and future expansion.

The federal Department of Transportation estimates that obsolete transportation infrastructure is a factor in nearly fourteen thousand deaths annually. These structures and systems were designed to last for roughly fifty years, and as they are nearing the end of that time frame, many local, state, and federal officials are understanding the need for comprehensive repairs to this infrastructure before it malfunctions and creates a potentially hazardous situation for drivers.

Due to the extent of these damages and varying needs for repairs, officials are beginning to create programs to partner with private drill rig contractors and operators to keep America’s highways and bridges safe and passable for the following decades.

The Best Equipment for Improving Infrastructure

In most cases, a short mast drill rig like those in the CZM EK line are the ideal piece of equipment for completing bridge and highway repairs. They can operate under existing structures giving operators the flexibility they need for these projects. Rigs like the CZM EK65HP are one of the best tools for drilling new deep foundations to offer significant load-bearing capabilities for these structures.

Another attractive feature of these rigs is their powerful yet compact design that allows for single-load deployment and self-erecting technology that reduces installation time and will enable crews to break ground sooner. An added advantage of this design is that it reduces transportation costs and requires a smaller crew than a traditional drill rig, increasing the contractor’s margins. Also, with a labor shortage in the industry, this makes it feasible to take on new projects.

New technology on these rigs allows for another level of accuracy, and they can even be monitored remotely. This allows superintendents and project managers to gain real-time insights into their projects without having to perform daily site visits. It also allows operators to monitor lubricant levels and ensure that their rig is performing at its optimum level. These are stored digitally and enable operators to access comprehensive maintenance records.

The Right Equipment and Service for your Projects

Family-owned and operated for more than fifty years, RPI Equipment remains dedicated to providing the best customer experience and transparent communication. Our knowledgeable sales team can help owners and operators explore drill rig and pile driver rental and purchase options for new and used equipment. We can also help our clients explore financing options to allow them to grow and scale their operations.

Our service technicians are experienced with preventative maintenance, lubricant analysis, repairs, and troubleshooting. Our techs can be dispatched for on-site visits with 24-hour notice, and we take pride in maintaining our fleet of drilling rigs and pile drivers and keeping all equipment in top shape. Our service team can also assist with OEM replacement parts in the event of mechanical breakdowns.

Having the right equipment from day one ensures success and reduces the risk of costly downtime, keeping your crews in the field and your schedule on track. Contact us today for a free quote and discover the RPI difference.

Share this post