SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A deadly natural gas blast in New York that leveled two buildings reminds us of the older pipes in the ground here in Massachusetts. 22News spoke with several officials and they say the explosion in Harlem has put aging infrastructure in the spotlight.
A huge building explosion that killed 8 people in New York and injured at least 60 others has many here in western Massachusetts concerned about infrastructure.
The Springfield Water Commission told 22News water main breaks are definitely a concern in the city.
“We do a capital improvement plan to prioritize projects that need to be completed so that we can avoid as many breaks as possible, but obviously we can’t get to everything because we are limited by funding and resources,” said Joyce Mulvaney of the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission.
Some of the water mains in Springfield date back to the late 1800’s.
MassDOT is assessing highways and bridges across the state. They say the $3 billion Patrick-Murray Accelerated Bridge Program represents a monumental investment in Massachusetts bridges. The program will greatly reduce the number of structurally deficient bridges in the state system. MassDOT says the program will replace or repair over 200 bridges in the state over the next eight years.
Nationally, the country’s getting ready to spend $3 to $5 trillion upgrading the water and wastewater systems.