Ed Rendell on The State of U.S. Infrastructure 80 Years After the P.W.A.

Monday, July 08, 2013 - 03:21 PM

The Hechinger Report
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (Joe Mazzola/Wikipedia Commons)

The Lincoln Tunnel and Triborough Bridge in New York City, the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state, and the Overseas Highway connecting Key West to mainland Florida are all products of the New Deal’s Public Works Administration, which went into effect 80 years ago today. The Takeaway spoke with Ed Rendell is the former governor of Pennsylvania and the founder and co-chair of Building America’s Future

Rendell believes that the United States has delayed investing in infrastructure long enough. He discusses why the nation should invest in infrastructure despite the other pressing issues facing the country.

The Public Works Administrations was the driving force of America’s biggest construction effort to date. It electrified rural America, building canals, tunnels, bridges, highways, streets, sewage systems, hospitals, schools and universities.

In fact, every year it consumed roughly half of the concrete and a third of the steel of the entire nation as it strengthened our infrastructure and put Americans back to work.

Now 80 years later, the American Society of Civil Engineers gives the United States a D+ grade on infrastructure, 1 in 9 bridges are structurally deficient, and according to a recent study, air transit ranks 33rd globally behind Panama and Malaysia.

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Ed Rendell

Hosted by:

Todd Zwillich

Produced by:

Megan Quellhorst


T.J. Raphael


Comments [2]

TOM MURPHY from Brooklyn

Unfortunately the rail infrastructure for the NYC area proposed by the Regional Plan Association in its 1929 Plan was not built. Robert Moses though went full ahead on roads, bridges, tunnels and parks. He thought rail was obsolete.

Jul. 09 2013 12:55 PM
Richard Codd from New York

The Lincoln Tunnel was constructed by the Port of New York Authority, now the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 1945. Subsequent tubes were built later.

Jul. 09 2013 09:16 AM

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