Fellow Jonathan English joined the Washington Times’ History As It Happens podcast episode, “When America Built Big Things.” He discusses transportation maintenance throughout the United States and why the country no longer thinks big about infrastructure:
The U.S. has so much [infrastructure] and the cost of maintaining what’s already there is enormous. Look at a city like New York—New York hit that point much earlier because it was a huge city long ago. Already by the ’50s and ’60s a lot of this infrastructure built in the 19th century, early 20th century was starting to fall apart—it has a natural lifespan, and New York was really struggling to fix it up.... The second problem is the sheer cost of building in the United States. When you compare the United States to places overseas...the cost is very, very high. You compare the United States to a place like France or Spain.... I think part of it is experience. The United States in 1973 was incredibly good at building highways because they had been building thousands of miles of them for the previous 25 years. The United States has not been building thousands of miles of highways today, and the same is true of subways, railways, you name it.