There’s a big problem looming over America, and it’s one that we’ve seen from coast to coast: Aging infrastructure.

We don’t often give much thought to it. Take our power grid, for example. We flip on a switch, and the power comes on. Flip it off, and poof! … the power goes away.

But as we saw a few years ago in Yuma, that’s not always the case. In 2011, a massive power outage that started near Yuma knocked out power from Yuma south into Mexico and west throughout Southern California and San Diego.

And just this week, Detroit lost power thanks to a faulty cable, officials said. The outage knocked electricity out to a good chunk of the city, impacting schools, courts, jail and traffic lights.

Detroit is in the midst of a $200 million upgrade to the power grid to help modernize it. That’s $200 million for one city.

Now, let’s look at the nation as a whole. It’s going to be a tremendous undertaking to modernize the nation’s power grid.

According to a 2013 report by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the energy infrastructure received a grade of D+. It’s antiquated, some which dates back to the 1880s, and could be at risk of attack by those with nefarious intent. But the financial costs to bring it up to speed are tremendous.

At some point soon, that’s a problem that is going to need to be addressed.

As it stands currently, significant power outages rose from 76 in 2007 to 307 in 2011, the ASCE reports.

The organization recommends some steps to fix the issues, but all will cost money. And when considering infrastructure, we have to also consider bridges, roadways, railways, transit, drinking water, wastewater – the list is long.

It’s time officials address it and start working toward making a difference.

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