Getting America fit for the future
BY ETHEL NAVALES It was a cold, gloomy morning in January and for the third day in a row, I was driving through heavy
rain to get to work—a rarity here in California. As if anticipating my complaints, the radio host
reminded listeners that this gloomy weather should make us smile. After all, thanks to this non-stop
downpour, we were finally seeing the end of the state’s infamous drought. But before the host could
finish the report, his words were interrupted by the thud of my car running over a pothole. Just
minutes later, a traffic jam formed in front of me as cars slowed and swerved to avoid another hole.
Even as I turned into the office parking lot, I was rattled with a third thud. Needless to say, it was
getting harder to smile.
This past winter, California received its highest amount of rainfall in 122 years. And while we rejoiced
the end of the drought, the damage caused by the downpour was unsettling. According to Greg
Spotts, Assistant Director for the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, the number of
pothole requests tripled during the January rainstorms. Northern California’s Bay Area saw hundreds
of potholes and even sinkholes. Officials claim it was an unprecedented worsening of the already
crumbling roadways. Simply put, our infrastructure was not prepared to take on the weather.