At the beginning of the 21st century, Nevada and many of the once flourishing economies of southwestern states are locked in deep economic depressions. In the 1930’s this region attacked a similar challenge in part by constructing large public works projects.
Perhaps none of these projects succeeded like the Hoover Dam. At the time, Hoover Dam was the largest hydroelectric dam and the largest concrete structure in the world. It provided employment and valuable flood control, irrigation, and electrical power. Perhaps most importantly it dramatically took on and solved problems that seemed intractable.
If we wanted to build a ‘Hoover Dam’ for the 21st century, what would it look like and do we as a country even have the capacity to undertake big, game changing projects anymore? Of course a ‘Hoover Dam’ for the 21st century would not be a dam and it is doubtful it would a ‘traditional’ public works project.