NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City’s infrastructure is crumbling and could wreak as much havoc as the next Superstorm Sandy, a new report says.
Among the alarming facts in the report by the Center for an Urban Future, a public-policy think tank, is that 47 bridges in the city are “fracture critical,” meaning that if just one joint or beam fails, an entire span could collapse.
The report calls 43 percent of roads in the city substandard. It also notes that the average sewer main is 84 years old, and 1,000 miles of water mains date back a century.
Because of leaky, aging pipes, a quarter of the city’s water supply never reaches faucets, according to the report.
“It’s not just age, but we’re seeing real repercussions,” Jonathan Bowles, the Center for an Urban Future’s executive director, told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman.
“We’ve got more than 400 water main breaks a year.”
Bowles said it would take $47 billion over the next five years to bring the city’s infrastructure up to a state of good repair.
“There hasn’t been enough of an emphasis in recent years on maintaining the infrastructure that we have,” Bowles said.
Infrastructure has not been one of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s big talking points, but the problems also represent an opportunity for de Blasio to strengthen New York City’s middle class, Bowles said.
“The mayor could really see this as part of his agenda to create decent-paying middle-income jobs,” Bowles said.
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