Investing for Future

I have to disagree with your story, "New Statewide Building Code Will Burden Home Repairs," that code adoption and enforcement in Louisiana is a "burden." Yes, rebuilding to the new codes will be more costly in some Louisiana parishes, especially those that had no codes prior to Hurricane Katrina. In the long run, the upfront costs of rebuilding are an investment in the future.

We know that these types of investments pay off. For every dollar put into mitigation, you can save $3 to $5 in future losses. Also, these communities now have a starting point to ensure safer homes, schools, offices and other buildings. We now know the risks that these areas face, and we know that codes, enforcement, education, planning and preparedness will save lives, reduce property losses and protect these neighborhoods from the damage of future hurricanes.

Stronger Reform

I read the article "Global Corruption Foes Gaining Ground" and think it is a very laudable effort and one that should be encouraged and pushed. While we are dealing with corruption in foreign countries, we should also reform our own ethics in the U.S. The debate on whether "campaign contributions" constitute bribery will long be debated.

I believe the American Society of Civil Engineers should take a strong stand prohibiting contributions of any kind to any official who is in a position to influence the awarding of engineering contracts to an engineer or an engineering corporation. I believe that most engineers would welcome not having to be put in the position of having to make financial contributions.

Look Again

Your article "Cable Innovation and Size Distinguish a Trio of Cable-Stayed Giants" states that Bai Chay Bridge in Vietnam, with a 345-meter main, will be the world's longest centrally supported, concrete cable-stayed bridge.

Actually, the Sunshine Skyway in Tampa Bay, Florida, completed in 1987, is longer. The main span of Sunshine Skyway is 1,250 ft, or 381 m. The Second Crossing of the Panama Canal in Panama has a main span of 420 m. It was completed in 2004. Both are centrally supported, concrete cable-stayed bridges.