Lest it go unnoticed in the general media, I would like to point out that today, July 29th is the 100th Anniversary of the opening of the Cape Cod Canal – in its day an engineering marvel:  the widest sea-level canal and the longest railroad lift bridge in the world.  In the depths of the Great Depression, it generated thousands of  jobs and economic stimulus.  It was begun by a private investor, who bit off a bit more than he could handle.  But recognizing the economic and strategic importance of the project, the Federal Government stepped-in to finish and enhance it.  The Army Corps of Engineers maintains it today.

Railroad lift bridge

Railroad lift bridge

The Canal, like so many achievements of that age, was emblematic of an optimism, and can-do attitude supported by engineering excellence. It was about more than economics. President Woodrow Wilson recognized this investment in our national infrastructure would yield benefits for a hundred years to come.  So we’ve coasted…our energies, attention and resources turned to other things while our infrastructure languishes.  I wonder if we can find leadership with sufficient vision and fortitude to identify, plan and execute those projects that will carry us through the 21st century?  What will Americans look on with pride 100 years from today…

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