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Crumbling America: Disasters Strike Roads, Bridges And Airports47:28
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Lights illuminate cars from an Amtrak train that derailed above Interstate 5, Monday, Dec. 18, 2017, in DuPont, Wash. The Amtrak train making the first-ever run along a faster new route hurtled off the overpass Monday near Tacoma and spilled some of its cars onto the highway below, killing several people, authorities said. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Lights illuminate cars from an Amtrak train that derailed above Interstate 5, Monday, Dec. 18, 2017, in DuPont, Wash. The Amtrak train making the first-ever run along a faster new route hurtled off the overpass Monday near Tacoma and spilled some of its cars onto the highway below, killing several people, authorities said. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
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With guest host Tom Gjelten.

The Atlanta airport loses power. A deadly train derailment in Washington State. What do they say about the state of American infrastructure and the promises to fix it?

Guests:

Lauren Gardner, transportation reporter for POLITICO Pro. (@Gardner_LM)

Rick Geddes, professor at Cornell and visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

Robert Puentes, president and CEO, Eno Center for Transportation. (@rpuentes)

More From This Show:

Robert Puentes takes the discussion to Twitter:

From The Reading List:

POLITICOAmtrak Derailment Revives Debate Over Delayed Anti-Crash Technology — "This week’s Amtrak derailment in Washington state is the latest in a string of deadly crashes that have occurred in the nine years since Congress mandated that trains be equipped with technology that helps prevent accidents caused by human error.

Much of the nation’s trains and tracks still lack the technology, known as positive train control, nearly two years after Congress' original deadline for installing it has passed. Lawmakers extended that deadline to the end of 2018 at the earliest, bowing to a furious lobbying campaign by railroads that said they needed more time to finish the multibillion-dollar upgrades."

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Atlanta Airport Blackout Cost Could Soar To Tens Of Millions Or More — "The 11-hour blackout at the world’s busiest airport is likely to cost tens of millions of dollars or more to airlines, stranded travelers and others, but the final tab isn’t likely to be known for months to come, aviation expert say.

That price tag is likely to grow as officials assess the cause of the fire that cut power Sunday to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and redesign the airport’s power grid to make it more resilient. How much those fixes will cost — and who will pay for it — isn’t exactly clear."

The Atlanta airport has a power failure and goes dark. A train derails in Washington State. President Trump says it shows once again that the nation’s infrastructure is crumbling and more investment is needed. A new spending bill is in the works. But state and local governments would have to pick up much of the tab. Democrats say the plan is flawed. This hour, On Point: the prospects for repairing the nation’s railroads, bridges, and power grids. --Tom Gjelten 

This program aired on December 20, 2017.

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