Friday, November 23, 2012

American Infrastructure

Above: WPA workers building a bridge in Harford County, Maryland, in June of 1936.

According to this article/op-ed, the World Economic Forum recently lowered America's infrastructure ranking from 8th to 25th in the world, and the American Society of Civil Engineers gives a D+ letter grade to our infrastructure. And, according to this article, "Wild weather is taking a toll on roads, airports, railways and transit systems across the country."

During the Great Depression, the services of contractors and the unemployed were utilized to modernize American infrastructure. The PWA funded colossal structures like the Hoover Dam, the CCC developed state and national parks for eager tourists and vacationers, the WPA performed enough roadwork to circle the Earth 26 times, and other work projects were carried out by agencies like the CWA, NYA, and U.S. Treasury.

Today, we seem to have a more lackadaisical attitude about our deteriorating infrastructure, and there seems to be more calls from our political leaders to drug test the unemployed than to give them meaningful & important work opportunities.


(Photo by the WPA, courtesy of the University of College Park Maryland Archives)

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