The need for repairs to the aging public infrastructure built during the period of high economic growth in the 60s and 70s has become a topic for public discussion. An investigation by the Nishinippon Shimbun found that as of the end of March 2012, work has yet to begin on roughly 4,900 of the bridges at least 15 meters in length managed by the region’s local governments. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport says that work should begin as soon as possible on 5,500 of the 23,800 bridges, but actual work has started on only about 600. This delay is particularly pronounced among the municipalities. The problem is compounded by the fiscal difficulties faced by local governments.