Raw sewage is indicative of a larger problem


Culver City residents would do well to invest in galoshes. On Monday, yet another pipe burst, a sewer line this time, flooding the intersection of Jefferson Boulevard and Overland Avenue. It seems it is becoming something of a recurring problem. There was a water main break on or near Lucerne Avenue a few months back that made for some splashy front-page news and there was the broken line at the Boneyard, which leaked chemicals and prompted officials to close it until just recently.

The problem is not peculiar to Culver City, however. There is infrastructure dilapidation nationwide that is being ignored. You may recall the fatal bridge collapse in Minnesota a few years back. In a country like ours, how is that remotely acceptable? Granted, broken pipes are certainly not on par with falling bridges, but at some point our crumbling public works will need to be properly maintained, fixed or scrapped. Otherwise, the question becomes “What is the next disaster and when will it strike?”

Money’s tight. I get it. But this type of infrastructural overhaul will require a lot of hard work – hard work that can’t be exported to Third-world sweatshops. It will require skilled labor of the sort who of late have been spending their days in the unemployment lines rather than assembly lines. We need something reminiscent of a Works Progress Administration. But until the rest of the country is capable of seeing the big picture, California – and in particular, Culver City, could lead by example.

Nobody likes paying taxes. But I would suggest that nobody likes trudging through raw sewage either; nor does anyone like falling to their deaths from rickety structures believed to be safe. The generations who constructed our buildings, roads, pipelines and bridges would be mortified and disheartened to find them in the condition into which we have allowed them to fall. People who can’t maintain a city strike me as undeserving of one.