Skip to main content

The Wilson Bridge and Lessons for Infrastructure Investments

The "new" Woodrow Wilson Bridge project on I-495 (completed in 2008) is an example of a major infrastructure project that fixed problems of the present (capacity and age issues of a relatively low drawbridge on a major highway connection between Maryland and Virginia) and added improvements for the future.

It took years to finish, but it created construction jobs at the time, improves interstate commerce on an ongoing basis, created walking trails for recreation and is built to support public transit (if that investment is made).

The project wasn't easy politically - contracting, rising costs, delays, and construction problems for neighbors were issues, but the end result is a regional asset that will have benefits for years.

We should carefully look at costs and benefits of infrastructure projects and strongly consider investments that would put us on the positive side of the ledger (the low costs of borrowing may make these projects even more attractive.)

If it's worth it in the long run, why shouldn't we get it done?

 What do you think? You can follow me @DrUrbanPolicy on twitter and facebook. I'm happy to continue the conversation below or on social media. (This post is based on an earlier post from the DrUrbanPolicy facebook page).


Popular posts from this blog

Rethinking the Value of Diversity after the End of Race-Based Admissions Decisions

The recent Supreme Court decision in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College has sparked great discourse in the week since the decision, and in particular, fear amongst those who worry about losing a key tool to fight the legacy of discrimination and the continuing disadvantages that impact people of color in the US. In its decision, the Court’s majority ruled that admissions policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina violated the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment. While a range of others, including Justices Jackson and Sotomayor, have laid out dissents and critiques of the decision, I have seen little discussion of the path forward for those who seek to ensure that more people from families and communities that have been impacted by racial prejudice over the nation’s history can benefit from a college education in the future.    You will read a different perspective here, building from experiences at four different univ

What Is a Livable Community, and How Do We Measure One?

Today, I kicked off AARP Public Policy Institute 's Livability Index project with a blog and two papers on new project webpage: bi.tly/LivIndex .  The PPI blog, " What Is a Livable Community, and How Do We Measure One? " introduces the project to the world. You may have wondered why I haven't been writing as much lately, and this project is what has been keeping me busy recently. In a way, this has been keeping me busy for years.

The "Boom" in Golden Girls-Style Shared Housing: Where’s the Beef?

NBC, Touchstone Television and their partners should be proud– it has been 22 years since the final episode aired, yet the influence of The Golden Girls   means that every year reporters ask about the boom in “Golden Girls Housing .”  This form of shared housing receives a great amount of attention, but we'll miss the big picture if we look for big numbers. For the last few years, I have looked at data from the Current Population Survey  (analyzed by the AARP Public Policy Institute ) to count households that are all female (or all male) with at least one non-related housemate or roommate, no spouses, and no one under 50 in the home. This is the classic “Golden Girls” formula.   The result has become familiar: a very small portion of the population lives in a “golden” situation, around one percent.  The small numbers of people in those situations means that it’s hard to figure out whether it has become more popular.  Though the percentage appears to be holding steady, th