Since the days of the Great Depression, public works projects have helped to modernize our infrastructure and create jobs. This tradition continues to this day in cities across America. From Boston to Minneapolis, construction teams have collaborated to build noteworthy public structures that make us proud.
Smart, New American Public Works Projects
1) Boston’s Government Center Station Reconstruction Project
Boston’s Government Center Station rehab project is a massive $87 million reconstruction of the city’s transit system. It is the centerpiece of a renovation of Boston’s historic “T.”
The Government Center was the transit system’s last key subway and commuter rail station to go on line. It provides universal access with two new stairways, four elevators and brand new escalators. A state-of-the-art, streamlined passenger entry, which features 360 degrees of natural light, sits above ground of one of Massachusetts’ best public works projects.
2) Kansas City Downtown Streetcar Project
Kansas City, Missouri recently invested more than $100 million in a modern version of its old streetcar system. In 2014, construction began on the first part of the Kansas City Downtown Streetcar Project, which would grow to include 16 stops throughout the city’s central business district.
In 2016, the streetcars opened for public use. Today, almost 6,000 people use the new Kansas City transportation system every day.
3) Historic Franklin Avenue Bridge Rehabilitation
The Franklin Avenue Bridge is a 1,050-foot span that crosses the Mississippi River in Downtown Minneapolis. Between 2015 and 2016, Hennepin County transformed the over 90-year-old landmark into a modern crossing.
During construction work, contractors removed the old streetcar track to make way for two more lanes of traffic. The historically-accurate rendering now serves bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers on a reconfigured deck, which separates motorists from everyone else.
4) Waterbury State Office Complex Project
The Waterbury State Office Complex, which was flooded during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, is Connecticut’s largest construction project to date. The state knocked down and erected new buildings, while raising all occupied areas above the 500-year flood level.
With a price tag of $130 million, the Connecticut public works project removed 21 buildings to make room for an 86,000-square-foot office building, a 20,000-square-foot central plant and a maintenance facility. In addition, the site’s original 13 buildings were restored to their original condition.
5) Richmond’s T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge Project
Richmond’s T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge project is a shared-use path, which crosses the James River from Richmond to Manchester. It is the first pedestrian bridge to span the entire width of the James River. This 1,600-foot bridge includes several different paths that enhance Richmond’s bike and pedestrian system.
Every year, local, state and Federal governments launch public works projects that raise American building standards. Do you have any favorite construction projects that didn’t make our list?