The customer service given to the citizens in any city can be overlooked without comparing the service to what other residents in other cities receive. On July 22, 2011 D.C. government leaders stood on the 9th Street Bridge after city and federal highway administration officials had invested 50 million in taxpayer dollars to reconstruct the aging bridge.
“Shoring up our roads and bridges is essential to the nation’s economic competitiveness,” Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez told the crowd that gathered at the new bridge dedication.
The collapse of the Skagit River Bridge in Washington state reflects the importance of the work that Mendez referenced in his remarks.
Although bridge reconstruction causes frustration for residents who must navigate the maze of detours and rerouting necessary to make the repairs the cost of not making the repairs will lead to the type of destruction of property and pain to citizens caused by an accident that a reconstructed bridge would have supported.
“This new bridge demonstrates how we’re pro actively continuing to address the nationwide issue we face today with aging infrastructure,” Mayor Vincent Gray said at the time of the reconstructed bridge dedication.
However, when town hall meetings are scheduled to discuss fund allocation it is often difficult for taxpayers to listen to spending money for needs that are not present but in the future. “People refuse to listen. They won’t heed warnings. God told Adam don’t eat that fruit. Adam ate it anyway. If people won’t listen to God they won’t listen to me.” John Hewitt, the CEO of Liberty Tax Service , said.
Any citizen can check on the safety and structural integrity of a bridge in their local area. The National Bridge Inventory Database lists bridges across the nation and gives a complete report on the status of the infrastructure.
The database listed the bridge in Washington state as being functionally obsolete. The warning was not heeded. Repairs to any bridge is expensive. The cost to repair the Skagit River Bridge will now cost over 14 million dollars. That cost does not include the expense of replacing the vehicles of the people who plunged into the cold water under the bridge.
Fortunately for taxpayers, who are the customers of every city, the voters and residents of D.C. have avoided many potential disasters because they did listen,heeded the warnings, and followed the leadership of Mayor Vincent Gray.
July 22, 2013, will mark the second anniversary of the completion of the 9th Street Bridge project. Millions of people have crossed over the remarkable bridge without so much as a yawn. Yet, DDOT estimated that the 9th Street Bridge serves an estimated 26,000 cars and trucks every business day. And that is certainly nothing to yawn about.
Customer Service is both an appreciation of the customer and the good work of the customer servant. For the 9th Street Bridge it was a job well done. Go to http://national bridges.com to get information on the safety of bridges in your local area.