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Building a New WPA


What We Need
New York has gotten good about fixing old infrastructure but is still slow to build anything new. Here’s a shopping list.

Tappan Zee Bridge
NYS Thruway Authority
Constantly under repair and terminally obsolete, the 1955 bridge has already gotten all the tinkering it can take.

Hudson World Bridge
Eytan Kaufman
A ribbon of park plus an extension to the Javits Center, slung over the Hudson. More thought experiment than actual plan, but what a thought!

Fulton Street Transit Center
Sure you can tuck it under a moneymaking high-rise, but then you lose the glass cupola that Grimshaw proposed, with its lofty ring of retail and views of St. Paul’s.

Moynihan Station
David Childs, others
The perpetually deferred dream of a grand West Side terminal makes the rank, dank warren of the current Penn Station that much harder to accept.

What We Could Have
Europe has done a better job than we have of nurturing and caring for its infrastructure, and its best projects have become a civilization’s mark on the land.

Alamillo Bridge
Santiago Calatrava, 1992
The mast, joined to the span by a choir of diagonal cables, appears to have been swept back by the wake of rushing cars. This Seville bridge exhorts traffic not to putter but to flow gracefully across.

Gateshead Millennium Bridge
Wilkinson Eyre, 2002
In a bridge-rich town over the trafficked Tyne, this elegant crossing distinguishes itself by swiveling up to let ships pass and down for pedestrians.

Millau Viaduct
Foster + Partners, 2004
Cutting across a valley in southern France and taller than the Eiffel Tower, the viaduct is a reminder that big roads don’t have to despoil the landscape.

Pont du Gard
Anonymous Roman, first century A.D.
The job of getting water from spring to public fountain produced an epochal statement of Roman culture.


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