The Road Taken

The History and Future of America's Infrastructure
Author: Henry Petroski
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1632863618
Category: Political Science
Page: 336
View: 3023

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Acclaimed engineer and historian Henry Petroski explores our core infrastructure from both historical and contemporary perspectives, explaining how essential their maintenance is to America's economic health. Petroski reveals the genesis of the many parts of America's highway system--our interstate numbering system, the centerline that divides roads, and such taken-for-granted objects as guardrails, stop signs, and traffic lights--all crucial to our national and local infrastructure. A compelling work of history, The Road Taken is also an urgent clarion call aimed at American citizens, politicians, and anyone with a vested interest in our economic well-being. Physical infrastructure in the United States is crumbling, and Petroski reveals the complex and challenging interplay between government and industry inherent in major infrastructure improvement. The road we take in the next decade toward rebuilding our aging infrastructure will in large part determine our future national prosperity.

The Road Taken

The History and Future of America's Infrastructure
Author: Henry Petroski
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
ISBN: 9781632863621
Category: Political Science
Page: 336
View: 8644

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Acclaimed engineer and historian Henry Petroski explores our core infrastructure from both historical and contemporary perspectives, explaining how essential their maintenance is to America's economic health. Petroski reveals the genesis of the many parts of America's highway system--our interstate numbering system, the centerline that divides roads, and such taken-for-granted objects as guardrails, stop signs, and traffic lights--all crucial to our national and local infrastructure. A compelling work of history, The Road Taken is also an urgent clarion call aimed at American citizens, politicians, and anyone with a vested interest in our economic well-being. Physical infrastructure in the United States is crumbling, and Petroski reveals the complex and challenging interplay between government and industry inherent in major infrastructure improvement. The road we take in the next decade toward rebuilding our aging infrastructure will in large part determine our future national prosperity.

The Road Taken

The History and Future of America's Infrastructure
Author: Henry Petroski
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
ISBN: 9781632863607
Category: Technology & Engineering
Page: 336
View: 8428

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Physical infrastructure in the United States is crumbling. The American Society of Civil Engineers has, in its latest report, given American roads and bridges a grade of D and C+, respectively, and has described roughly sixty-five thousand bridges in the United States as "structurally deficient." This crisis--and one need look no further than the I-35W bridge collapse in Minnesota to see that it is indeed a crisis--shows little sign of abating short of a massive change in attitude amongst politicians and the American public. In The Road Taken, acclaimed historian Henry Petroski explores our core infrastructure from historical and contemporary perspectives and explains how essential their maintenance is to America's economic health. Recounting the long history behind America's highway system, Petroski reveals the genesis of our interstate numbering system (even roads go east-west, odd go north-south), the inspiration behind the center line that has divided roads for decades, and the creation of such taken-for-granted objects as guardrails, stop signs, and traffic lights--all crucial parts of our national and local infrastructure. His history of the rebuilding of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge reveals the complex and challenging interplay between government and industry inherent in the conception, funding, design, and building of major infrastructure projects, while his forensic analysis of the street he lives on--its potholes, gutters, and curbs--will engage homeowners everywhere. A compelling work of history, The Road Taken is also an urgent clarion call aimed at American citizens, politicians, and anyone with a vested interest in our economic well-being. The road we take in the next decade toward rebuilding our aging infrastructure will in large part determine our future national prosperity.

American Road

The Story of an Epic Transcontinental Journey at the Dawn of the Motor Age
Author: Pete Davies
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 1466862823
Category: History
Page: 304
View: 6191

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A fascinating account of the greatest road trip in American history. On July 7, 1919, an extraordinary cavalcade of sixty-nine military motor vehicles set off from the White House on an epic journey. Their goal was California, and ahead of them lay 3,250 miles of dirt, mud, rock, and sand. Sixty-two days later they arrived in San Francisco, having averaged just five miles an hour. Known as the First Transcontinental Motor Train, this trip was an adventure, a circus, a public relations coup, and a war game all rolled into one. As road conditions worsened, it also became a daily battle of sweat and labor, of guts and determination. American Road is the story of this incredible journey. Pete Davies takes us from east to west, bringing to life the men on the trip, their trials with uncooperative equipment and weather, and the punishing landscape they encountered. Ironically one of the participants was a young soldier named Dwight Eisenhower, who, four decades later, as President, launched the building of the interstate highway system. Davies also provides a colorful history of transcontinental car travel in this country, including the first cross-country trips and the building of the Lincoln Highway. This richly detailed book offers a slice of Americana, a piece of history unknown to many, and a celebration of our love affair with the road.

The Big Roads

The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways
Author: Earl Swift
Publisher: HMH
ISBN: 054754913X
Category: History
Page: 384
View: 5504

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Discover the twists and turns of one of America’s great infrastructure projects with this “engrossing history of the creation of the U.S. interstate system” (Los Angeles Times). It’s become a part of the landscape that we take for granted, the site of rumbling eighteen-wheelers and roadside rest stops, a familiar route for commuters and vacationing families. But during the twentieth century, the interstate highway system dramatically changed the face of our nation. These interconnected roads—over 47,000 miles of them—are man-made wonders, economic pipelines, agents of sprawl, uniquely American symbols of escape and freedom, and an unrivaled public works accomplishment. Though officially named after President Dwight D. Eisenhower, this network of roadways has origins that reach all the way back to the World War I era, and The Big Roads—“the first thorough history of the expressway system” (The Washington Post)—tells the full story of how they came to be. From the speed demon who inspired a primitive web of dirt auto trails to the largely forgotten technocrats who planned the system years before Ike reached the White House to the city dwellers who resisted the concrete juggernaut when it bore down on their neighborhoods, this book reveals both the massive scale of this government engineering project, and the individual lives that have been transformed by it. A fast-paced history filled with fascinating detours, “the book is a road geek’s treasure—and everyone who travels the highways ought to know these stories” (Kirkus Reviews).

Divided Highways

Building the Interstate Highways, Transforming American Life
Author: Tom Lewis
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801467837
Category: History
Page: 384
View: 6065

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In Divided Highways, Tom Lewis offers an encompassing account of highway development in the United States. In the early twentieth century Congress created the Bureau of Public Roads to improve roads and the lives of rural Americans. The Bureau was the forerunner of the Interstate Highway System of 1956, which promoted a technocratic approach to modern road building sometimes at the expense of individual lives, regional characteristics, and the landscape. With thoughtful analysis and engaging prose Lewis charts the development of the Interstate system, including the demographic and economic pressures that influenced its planning and construction and the disputes that pitted individuals and local communities against engineers and federal administrators. This is a story of America's hopes for its future life and the realities of its present condition. It is an engaging history of the people and policies that profoundly transformed the American landscape-and the daily lives of Americans. In this updated edition of Divided Highways, Lewis brings his story of the Interstate system up to date, concluding with Boston's troubled and yet triumphant Big Dig project, the growing antipathy for big federal infrastructure projects, and the uncertain economics of highway projects both present and future.

The Roads that Built America

The Incredible Story of the U.S. Interstate System
Author: Dan McNichol
Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
ISBN: 9781402734687
Category: History
Page: 255
View: 9680

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The year 2006 celebrates the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Interstate System, the most incredible road system in the world. Created by Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose WW II experiences taught him the necessity of a superhighway for military transport and evacuation in wartime, today's Interstate System is what connects our coasts and our borders, our cities and small towns. It's made possible our suburban lifestyle and caused the vast proliferation of businesses from HoJos to Holiday Inns. And if you order something online, most likely it's a truck barreling along an interstate that gets the product to your door. Written by bestselling author Dan McNichol, The Roads that Built America is the fascinating story of the largest engineering project the world has ever known.

The American Highway

The History and Culture of Roads in the United States
Author: William Kaszynski
Publisher: McFarland
ISBN: 9780786408221
Category: Transportation
Page: 229
View: 7931

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Minnesota-based writer and photographer Kazynski traces the transformation of the US from a network of places connected by rutted wagon trails to a maze of highways connected to other highways. He describes and illustrates road and bridge construction and the new roadside culture that threw up motels, restaurants, gas stations, and scenic perspectives.

Move: How to Rebuild and Reinvent America's Infrastructure

Putting America’s Infrastructure Back in the Lead
Author: Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393246817
Category: Technology & Engineering
Page: 256
View: 8800

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One of our “best known and most influential business scholars” (Boston Globe), best-selling author Rosabeth Moss Kanter tackles America’s most urgent domestic issue. Americans are stuck. We live with travel delays on congested roads, shipping delays on clogged railways, and delays on repairs, project approvals, and funding due to gridlocked leadership. These delays affect us all, whether you are a daily commuter, a frequent flyer, an entrepreneur, an online shopper, a job-seeker, or a community leader. If people can't move, if goods are delayed, and if information networks can't connect, then economic opportunity deteriorates and social inequity grows. We have been stuck for too long, writes Harvard Business School professor and best-selling author Rosabeth Moss Kanter. In Move, Kanter visits cities and states across the country to tackle our challenges—and reveal solutions—on the roads and rails, and in our cities, skies, and the halls of Washington, D.C. We meet a visionary engineer and public servant spearheading an underwater tunnel in Miami to streamline port operations and redirect constant traffic from the city center. We see mayors partnering with large corporations and nimble entrepreneurs to unveil parking apps, bike-sharing programs, and seamless Wi-Fi networks in greener, more vibrant, more connected cities. And we learn about much-needed efforts—such as dynamic tolls on highways and fees based on vehicle miles traveled—to reduce our dependence on the outmoded gasoline tax in our new electric car age. It all adds up to a new vision for American mobility, where local leaders shape initiatives without waiting for Congress to act, and ambitious companies partner with governments to tackle projects that serve the public good, create jobs, and improve quality of life while providing healthy sources of investment. With unique insight and unrivaled expertise, Kanter gives us a sweeping look across America, revealing the innovative projects, vital leaders, and bold solutions that are moving our transportation infrastructure toward a cleaner, faster, and more prosperous future.

To Forgive Design

Understanding Failure
Author: Henry Petroski
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674065433
Category: Science
Page: 432
View: 8916

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Argues that failures in structural engineering are not necessarily due to the physical design of the structures, but instead a misunderstanding of how cultural and socioeconomic constraints would affect the structures.

The Eisenhower Interstate System


Author: John Murphy
Publisher: Chelsea House
ISBN: N.A
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction
Page: 142
View: 1133

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Examines the Interstate Highway Act of 1956 which resulted in the construction of more than forty thousand miles of interconnected highways across all states, discussing the history of road construction in the United states and some of the controversies that surrounded the project.

Onramps and Overpasses

A Cultural History of Interstate Travel
Author: Dianne Perrier
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: History
Page: 418
View: 8424

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History at the next exit--whatever interstate you're driving on "For all those who think there's nothing to see along the interstates, Perrier offers fascinating people and places, some lost to history, others just off the next exit."--Brian Butko, editor, Western Pennsylvania History "The American landscape is lost to its citizens traveling a mile-a-minute in sound-proof and hermetically sealed landyachts. Dianne Perrier rescues an important view of the terrain we no longer see, feel, or respect."--Dan McNichol, author of The Roads That Built America: The Incredible Story of the U.S. Interstate System Designed as a defense and commercial network to link Washington, D.C., with state capitals, the interstate highway system carries more traffic than anyone could have imagined fifty years ago. Lost today in the rush to get from point A to point B--with restaurants, hotels, and gas stations along the way more or less interchangeable from exit to exit--is the fact that these roads were laid down along ancient routes. The red trace of tail lights we see in heavy nighttime traffic mirrors the ancient footpaths and traces used by Native Americans and early settlers. Route numbers have replaced colorful descriptors, such that the Oregon Trail is now I-80, and travelers tracing portions of the Santa Fe Trail do so along I-25. In Onramps and Overpasses Dianne Perrier seeks to remind us of what we have lost and that this history is often as close as the next exit. She tells stories of Davey Crockett, Horace Greely, and Charles Dickens, of women in hoop skirts, the search for eighteenth-century fast food, and nineteenth-century "truckers." Reminding us that the journey is just as important as the destination, Perrier restores the beauty and history of the American landscape we all too often ignore at 65 miles per hour.

Success through Failure

The Paradox of Design
Author: Henry Petroski
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400889685
Category: Technology & Engineering
Page: 216
View: 2947

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Design pervades our lives. Everything from drafting a PowerPoint presentation to planning a state-of-the-art bridge embodies this universal human activity. But what makes a great design? In this compelling and wide-ranging look at the essence of invention, distinguished engineer and author Henry Petroski argues that, time and again, we have built success on the back of failure--not through easy imitation of success. Success through Failure shows us that making something better--by carefully anticipating and thus averting failure--is what invention and design are all about. Petroski explores the nature of invention and the character of the inventor through an unprecedented range of both everyday and extraordinary examples--illustrated lectures, child-resistant packaging for drugs, national constitutions, medical devices, the world's tallest skyscrapers, long-span bridges, and more. Stressing throughout that there is no surer road to eventual failure than modeling designs solely on past successes, he sheds new light on spectacular failures, from the destruction of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940 and the space shuttle disasters of recent decades, to the collapse of the World Trade Center in 2001. Petroski also looks at the prehistoric and ancient roots of many modern designs. The historical record, especially as embodied in failures, reveals patterns of human social behavior that have implications for large structures like bridges and vast organizations like NASA. Success through Failure--which will fascinate anyone intrigued by design, including engineers, architects, and designers themselves--concludes by speculating on when we can expect the next major bridge failure to occur, and the kind of bridge most likely to be involved.

America in ruins

the decaying infrastructure
Author: Pat Choate,Susan Walter
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: N.A
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 101
View: 6986

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Engineers of Dreams

Great Bridge Builders and the Spanning of America
Author: Henry Petroski
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307773132
Category: Technology & Engineering
Page: 496
View: 5410

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Petroski reveals the science and engineering--not to mention the politics, egotism, and sheer magic--behind America's great bridges, particularly those constructed during the great bridge-building era starting in the 1870s and continuing through the 1930s. It is the story of the men and women who built the St. Louis, the George Washington, and the Golden Gate bridges, drawing not only on their mastery of numbers but on their gifts for persuasion and self-promotion. It is an account of triumphs and ignominious disasters (including the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which literally twisted itself apart in a high wind). And throughout this grandly engaging book, Petroski lets us see how bridges became the "symbols and souls" of our civilization, as well as testaments to their builders' vision, ingenuity, and perseverance. "Seamlessly linked...With astonishing scope and generosity of view, Mr. Petroski places the tradition of American bridge-building in perspective."--New York Times Book Review From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Essential Engineer


Author: Henry Petroski
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307593207
Category: Science
Page: 288
View: 3574

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From the acclaimed author of The Pencil and To Engineer Is Human, The Essential Engineer is an eye-opening exploration of the ways in which science and engineering must work together to address our world’s most pressing issues, from dealing with climate change and the prevention of natural disasters to the development of efficient automobiles and the search for renewable energy sources. While the scientist may identify problems, it falls to the engineer to solve them. It is the inherent practicality of engineering, which takes into account structural, economic, environmental, and other factors that science often does not consider, that makes engineering vital to answering our most urgent concerns. Henry Petroski takes us inside the research, development, and debates surrounding the most critical challenges of our time, exploring the feasibility of biofuels, the progress of battery-operated cars, and the question of nuclear power. He gives us an in-depth investigation of the various options for renewable energy—among them solar, wind, tidal, and ethanol—explaining the benefits and risks of each. Will windmills soon populate our landscape the way they did in previous centuries? Will synthetic trees, said to be more efficient at absorbing harmful carbon dioxide than real trees, soon dot our prairies? Will we construct a “sunshade” in outer space to protect ourselves from dangerous rays? In many cases, the technology already exists. What’s needed is not so much invention as engineering. Just as the great achievements of centuries past—the steamship, the airplane, the moon landing—once seemed beyond reach, the solutions to the twenty-first century’s problems await only a similar coordination of science and engineering. Eloquently reasoned and written, The Essential Engineer identifies and illuminates these problems—and, above all, sets out a course for putting ideas into action. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Atomic Awakening: A New Look at the History and Future of Nuclear Power


Author: James Mahaffey
Publisher: Pegasus Books
ISBN: 1605982032
Category: Science
Page: 368
View: 5106

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“Persuasive and based on deep research. Atomic Awakening taught me a great deal."—Nature The American public's introduction to nuclear technology was manifested in destruction and death. With Hiroshima and the Cold War still ringing in our ears, our perception of all things nuclear is seen through the lens of weapons development. Nuclear power is full of mind-bending theories, deep secrets, and the misdirection of public consciousness, some deliberate, some accidental. The result of this fixation on bombs and fallout is that the development of a non-polluting, renewable energy source stands frozen in time. Outlining nuclear energy's discovery and applications throughout history, Mahaffey's brilliant and accessible book is essential to understanding the astounding phenomenon of nuclear power in an age where renewable energy and climate change have become the defining concerns of the twenty-first century.

Door to Door

The Magnificent, Maddening, Mysterious World of Transportation
Author: Edward Humes
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062372092
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 384
View: 6658

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The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Garbology explores the hidden and costly wonders of our buy-it-now, get-it-today world of transportation, revealing the surprising truths, mounting challenges, and logistical magic behind every trip we take and every click we make. Transportation dominates our daily existence. Thousands, even millions, of miles are embedded in everything we do and touch. We live in a door-to-door universe that works so well most Americans are scarcely aware of it. The grand ballet in which we move ourselves and our stuff is equivalent to building the Great Pyramid, the Hoover Dam, and the Empire State Building all in a day. Every day. And yet, in the one highly visible part of the transportation world—the part we drive—we suffer grinding commutes, a violent death every fifteen minutes, a dire injury every twelve seconds, and crumbling infrastructure. Now, the way we move ourselves and our stuff is on the brink of great change, as a new mobility revolution upends the car culture that, for better and worse, built modern America. This unfolding revolution will disrupt lives and global trade, transforming our commutes, our vehicles, our cities, our jobs, and every aspect of culture, commerce, and the environment. We are, quite literally, at a fork in the road, though whether it will lead us to Carmageddon or Carmaheaven has yet to be determined. Using interviews, data and deep exploration of the hidden world of ports, traffic control centers, and the research labs defining our transportation future, acclaimed journalist Edward Humes breaks down the complex movements of humans, goods, and machines as never before, from increasingly car-less citizens to the distance UPS goes to deliver a leopard-printed phone case. Tracking one day in the life of his family in Southern California, Humes uses their commutes, traffic jams, grocery stops, and online shopping excursions as a springboard to explore the paradoxes and challenges inherent in our system. He ultimately makes clear that transportation is one of the few big things we can change—our personal choices do have a profound impact, and that fork in the road is coming up fast. Door to Door is a fascinating detective story, investigating the worldwide cast of supporting characters and technologies that have enabled us to move from here to there—past, present, and future.

The Pencil

A History of Design and Circumstance
Author: Henry Petroski
Publisher: Knopf
ISBN: 0307772438
Category: Technology & Engineering
Page: 448
View: 1015

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Henry Petroski traces the origins of the pencil back to ancient Greece and Rome, writes factually and charmingly about its development over the centuries and around the world, and shows what the pencil can teach us about engineering and technology today. From the Trade Paperback edition.