With a new administration set to take over in Washington, there is a lot of talk, much of it buoyed by a sense of hope, about enormous investments in the nation's infrastructure. As John McManus writes in Builder, "the prospects for such an initiative draw out both heady optimism and a fair-share of fretting and fear ... Huge spending is not a slam dunk ..."

McManus provides an interesting curation of articles that summarize the state of the nation's infrastructure, including some intriguing maps showing the extent of the country's electric grid, bridges, pipelines, railroads, airports, and commercial waterways. He also makes a good argument, supported by a number of other thinkers, that the push to improve infrastructure should include affordable housing.

A single housing project in Seattle created to house homeless men replaced more than 1200 days spent in jail and 1100 visits made to hospitals and medical centers by its occupants in the year prior to occupancy, an annual cost savings to the taxpayer of $3.5 million.

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