Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Why We Couldn't Build The Golden Gate Bridge Today

Here's what President Obama has said about China:
"China is making investments in the future...they're making investments in infrastructure...we USED to  have the best infrastructure in the world...had the best roads, the best airports, the best ports, the best highways, the best internet service, now we're second, we're third, we're fifteenth, we're twenty-first, we can't win that way...listen, Abraham Lincoln helped build the  intercontinental railroad in the middle of the Civil War..." 
Golden Gate Bridge, built in 4 yrs (1933-1937)
Once again, we have the President of the United States "running down" the U.S. in comparison to China. 

I believe in American exceptionalism. I believe in American ingenuity--just look at Apple and the new iPad. I believe that we can do whatever we set our minds to do as a nation.
  • We built the Golden Gate Bridge in just over 4 yrs (from 1933-1937) and 11 men died during its construction.
  • We built the Hoover Dam in five years (1930-1935) and an estimated 112 deaths occurred which included a drowning as well as heat-related deaths. The Hoover Dam provides water to over 25-million people in the Southwest.
  • The Panama Canal was built in 10 yrs (from 1904-1914).
  • The Brooklyn Bridge was built in 13 yrs. At the time, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world (from 1870-1883).
Hoover Dam, built in 5 yrs (from 1930 - 1935)
But, having said that, here's why we could not accomplish these same feats today in the same amount of time, and why China can run circles around us as far as building bridges, highways, etc.:
  1. EPA (The Environmental Protection Agency)
  2. ESA (The Endangered Species' Act)
  3. Army Core of Engineers
  4. Labor Unions
  5. Federal regulations (otherwise known as "red tape")
  6. OSHA (Occupational, Safety, Health Administration)
These are the 6 culprits which comprise the reason why we CANNOT compete with the Chinese. 

Panama Canal built in 10 yrs (from 1904 - 1914)
We could NOT build the Golden Gate Bridge now in less than 30 yrs because of regulations, required studies, endangered species, labor unions. Again, the Golden Gate Bridge in all probability could NOT be built today because it would be cost prohibitive due to federal & state regulations. Also, it would be studied to death by the Army Core of Engineers and if there happened to be a nest of endangered eagles at the proposed site, the entire project would have to be relocated (like how are you going to relocate a bridge. It needs to cross exactly where it has been planned).

Brooklyn Bridge built in 13 yrs. (1870-1883)
The Hoover Dam could NOT be built today because of endangered species act, the Army Core of Engineers (a bunch of environmental-whackos) who care more about endangered fish, snails, rats, owls than they do about the progress and well-being of our nation, and the added expense of union labor along with thousands of pages of regulations which would make this cost-prohibitive. Also, the moment one person was killed or seriously injured, the entire project would be shut down for safety evaluations and fines. 

So keep all this in mind the next time you hear our President praising China and deriding America as second, third, or fifteenth to the rest of the world in its infrastructure.


  1. You sure hit the nail on the head in this post, Dale. Look how long the Paducah river front has been delayed due to a mussel. The EPA, endangered species act, etc., has so much power now that they can stall any project forever.

  2. Larry, something similar occurred in Merrimack,NH where we used to live. A long-awaited, much needed bridge was to be built across the Merrimack River. It had been in the works for about 15 yrs, and just as construction was about to begin, the Army Core of Engineers (what a despicable group!!) discovered a nest with baby eagles and stopped everything. They state had to find a new site about 1-mile further north, and this delay along with acquiring land, and new plans, added 5 more years to the project as well as countless millions of dollars.

    It NEVER occurred to the stupid Army Core of Engineers (which is full of left-wing environmentalists) to move the birds' nest. No, the accommodation has to come at the expense of human beings. This is the insanity that we are dealing with every day.

    I would vote for any candidate who would dismantle the Army Core of Engineers (nothing more than an arm of the EPA and the Endangered Species' Act).

  3. rant: "to speak or declaim extravagantly or violently; talk in a wild or vehement way; rave: The demagogue ranted for hours.", also "jabber, to utter something in loud, violent, or bombastic tones"

    This is my first viewing of your blogspot and quite likely my last. It's hard to believe that you have anything intelligent to add to the cacophony that is the internet when you and your readers don't realize the difference between "core" and "corps".

    It's "The Army CORPS of Engineers", for pity's sake.

    You begin and end by criticizing the POTUS for "running down" the US in comparison with China, and then fill the gap between beginning and end by enumerating the six reasons why you believe that we CANNOT compete with the Chinese. Essentially agreeing with and proving the President's point.

    And all of those six "reasons" were in place and being the culprits you perceive them to be long before Pres. Obama took office. So, why is it his fault?

    And why is it some kind of deep wisdom and insight for you and yours to conclude that we "CANNOT compete with the Chinese" (those are your words), but shameful and despicable for the POTUS to seem to do the same?

    Like the Emperor's underwear in "The Emperor's New Clothes", your hypocrisy is showing.

    1. Thank-you Anonymous...yes, I stand corrected on misspelling Army Corps of Engineers. Can't believe I did that, but anyway, thanks for the correction. BTW, Obama has also publicly referred to "Navy Corpsemen," so I guess I'm in good company.

      Yes, all 6 culprits were in place long before Pres. Obama, but here is the reason why I lay this criticism at Obama's doorstep: Obama's the one who derided American exceptionalism and actually said when compared with China,
      we are "...fifteenth, we're twenty-first, we can't win that way." Obama has done NOTHING to streamline our ability to build anything in an expedient manner. If anything, time and time again, Obama has EXACERBATED the problem on sterioids.

      As far as the EPA, it was in place long before Obama came to town, but Lisa Jackson is famous for OVER-REACHING again and again.

      Obama has added 10,215 NEW regulations to the books since taking office. That's quite an achievement, and that is added reason why we can't compete with the Chinese and why we can't build the Golden Gate Bridge today in the same time frame, or even twice the time.