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Hoover Dam takes its place among infrastructure giants

The Obama administration's focus on rebuilding bridges, highways, and other forms of infrastructure couldn't be better timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the International Right of Way Association (IRWA), a 10,000-member not-for-profit organization of engineers, surveyors, title experts, and others in that field in both the public and private sectors. They have tackled myriad tasks, from site selection and zoning to preparing feasibility and environmental studies, since the organization's founding in 1934, when President Franklin Roosevelt was using infrastructure projects to help lift the country out of the Great Depression. One of those projects, the Hoover Dam on the Arizona-Nevada boundary, was completed in 1935 and ranks third in the IRWA's estimation. It was declared a national historic landmark in 1985. The Top 10 best North American infrastructure projects built during the past 75 years, according to the association:

  • 1. Interstate highway system
  • 2. Florida's Turnpike Suncoast Parkway
  • 3. Hoover Dam
  • 4. Trans Alaska Pipeline
  • 5. Second Tacoma (Wash.) Narrows Bridge
  • 6. Confederation Bridge (linking New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, Canada)
  • 7. City of Phoenix Light Rail
  • 8. Austin (Texas) Clean Water Program
  • 9. I-10 Katy Freeway expansion (Texas)
  • 10. Golden Gate Bridge
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