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America's Infrastructure Challenge


A highway bridge collapses in Minnesota, lead poisons the water of Flint, Michigan, and Americans are reminded of the fragile state of our basic infrastructure—the roads, pipes, power lines, and waterways that make modern life possible. On this episode of History Talk, panelists Steven Conn, Bernadette Hanlon, and Clay Howard discuss the history of public investment in American infrastructure, how it has reached such a perilous state, and what it can tell us about  changing conceptions of the common good. In addition, host Patrick Potyondy interviews the executive director of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Tom Smith, who updates us on how our infrastructure is holding up today.

I-35W Bridge Collapse in Minneapolis, MN on August 4 2007

(Image Source)

Posted February 2016

[A transcript of this podcast is available here.]

A History Talk Short:


In this segment of our episode on infrastructure and public investment in the United States, host Patrick Potyondy interviews Tom Smith, the Executive Director of the American Society of Civil Engineers, who describes the current state of America's public infrastructure.

Posted February 2016