The recent fire under the Park Avenue viaduct in Harlem, which disrupted commutes of a quarter million Metro-North riders, got me thinking: Our aging, crumbling and vulnerable transportation infrastructure is close to collapse, and the effects of such failure could be catastrophic. Consider this track record:
June 1983 — Inadequate inspections and repairs cause the collapse of the Mianus River Bridge on I-95 in Greenwich. Three people were killed and three others injured. For almost five months, 80,000 daily vehicles had to detour through city streets.