Monday, February 15, 2010

Drive the Ortega Highway and Watch Sky Divers.

February 15, 2010

Another good drive in California is the Ortega Highway, California Route 74. The Ortega Highway stretch of Route 74 travels through the Cleveland National Forest beginning nearly from the ocean in San Juan Capistrano and traverses over the mountains to Lake Elsinore. This is a really fun mountain drive winding up and down through the peaks. However, watch out for the locals and commuters, they really like to drive on this road as fast as they possibly can, apparently. But before you descend down to Lake Elsinore (if heading east), stop at the last set of peaks and look for the adrenalin junkies jumping out of the planes high overhead of the lake. Some of those skydivers really free-fall a long, long way before they open their parachutes.

Adam Trotter / AVT

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rebuild the Nation’s Water Mains and Sewer Systems and City Streets!

February 10th, 2010

During a heavy rainstorm the other day, I was surprised to notice the massive amount of water flowing out of a storm drain and back onto the rapidly flooding street. A little later, as I was driving through the small lakes and streams that are normally shoddy city streets, I again began to reflect on the state of the nation’s infrastructure. I started to ponder why more infrastructure projects have not been undertaken to rebuild the nation’s often ancient sewer and water main systems as well as the antique city streets. I understand the rationale to wait until these systems break to begin any repairs or rebuilding efforts. But, maybe the best ‘bang for the buck’ or return on investment would not be to wait until these infrastructure systems demand immediate attention when they fail. Nevertheless, given the fact that the nation can afford to spend probably a billion dollars a day in Iraq and Afghanistan, and given the fact that the nation can afford to give trillions of dollars to our impoverished bankers and financial institutions, I found myself at a loss as to why the nation does not undertake the massive engineering and infrastructure projects required to rebuild the country’s water main and sewer systems before these systems catastrophically fail – with such failure likely only a matter of time. I mean…, we could create a lot of engineering-related jobs by investing more in our nation’s infrastructure.

Adam Trotter, P.E. / AVT

PS. Should such engineering endeavors ever be undertaken by the nation as a whole, we could probably use to replace some of the ancient bridges as well, if not build more bridges to supplement the over-crowded ones that exist now.