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Full text of "America builds : The record of PWA"

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rhe Record of PWA \ 



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Prefatory Note 



SINCE THIS REPORT WAS PREPARED 
FOR PUBLICATION, THE PUBLIC WORKS 
ADMINISTRATION ON JULY I, 1939, IN 
ACCORDANCE WITH THE PRESIDENT'S 
REORGANIZATION PLAN, WAS TRANS- 
FERRED TO THE FEDERAL WORKS AGENCY 
HEADED BY JOHN M. CARMODY, 
ADMINISTRATOR 



America 
Builds 



THE RECORD OF 



PWA 



PUBLIC WORKS ADMINISTRATION 



PREPARED IN THE DIVISION OF INFORMATION 



UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE WASHINGTON 1939 

FOR SALE BY THE SUPERINTENDENT OF DOCUMENTS 

PRICE 70 CENTS 



AMERICA BUILDS 



Foreword 



I 



.N JUNE 1933, this Nation undertook to test whether 
public works, carried out through the normal channels of 
private enterprise, could be made effective as a medium of 
reemployment and economic recovery. The Congress en- 
trusted stewardship of this colossal task to the President, 
and as his agent established the Public Works Administra- 
tion, familiarly known as PWA. 

For almost 6 years, with funds appropriated by the Con- 
gress at irregular intervals, PWA has carried on a Nation- 
wide program of construction, in cooperation with the various 
departments of the Federal Government, and with thousands 
of State, county, city, and other local governments. In 



carrying out its duties, PWA has acquired a wealth of ex- 
perience and has accumulated factual records and data by 
which an objective and definitive appraisal of its activities 
now may be made, and in the light of which the whole 
theory of public works may be reexamined. 

At this time, when national recognition of this 6 years' 
endeavor has been accorded by the President's action in in- 
cluding PWA in the new Federal Works Agency, it is ap- 
propriate that a record of PWA's work be made available. 
Therefore, I have had this publication prepared in order to 
present in a single, comprehensive report, such essential in- 
formation regarding the history, experience and activities of 
PWA as may be of interest to citizens generally as well as 
to students of the theory of public works and its efficacy in 
helping to bring about economic recovery. 



Administrator. 
WASHINGTON, June i, 1939. 



VI 



Contents 



Page 

FOREWORD By the Administrator v 

SECTION ONE 

CHAPTER I Theory and Facts I 

II Men and Materials 17 

III Mandate of Congress 33 

IV Legal Framework 49 
V Loans and Bonds 61 

VI Engineering Blueprints 73 

VII Honest Dollars 83 

SECTION TWO 

VIII The Federal Programs 95 

IX Electric Power 1 1 5 

X For Better Education 127 

XI Aids to Health 141 

XII Sewage and Stream Pollution 155 

XIII Water Is Life 169 

XIV Land, Sea and Air 181 
XV For Government Business 195 

XVI Public Housing 207 

XVII Summary 219 

XVIII Case Histories 225 

APPENDIX 263 

Project maps, type and summary tables, miscella- 
neous information 

INDEX 293 

VII 



Section One 



A iM ERICA BUILDS 



Chapter I 



Theory 
and Facts 




ON THE 1 6th of June, 1933, PWA 
was born. 

In the White House, the executive offices in the west wing 
were crowded. Members of Congress, Government officials, 
and newspaper men, alert and expectant, reflected the hope 
of a Nation which had undergone more than 3 years of deep 
depression. On the President's desk rested a mass of 
weighty legislation the last bills passed by a Congress which 
had labored and sweated for 100 days of a history-making 
emergency session. 

At 5 minutes before noon the press photographers lined 
themselves up in the President's old l office. They raised 

1 The executive offices were later remodeled as PWA Federal project No. i. 



their cameras and focused their lenses on the President 
seated at his desk, and on the two Senators and four Repre- 
sentatives arrayed behind him against the windows over- 
looking the south lawn. Smiling and confident, the Presi- 
dent lifted his pen. The flash-bulbs flared. The camera 
shutters clicked. With bold strokes, the President signed 
"Franklin D. Roosevelt" to the National Industrial Recovery 
Act, Title II of which provided for the largest program of 
public works construction ever entrusted to a single agency. 

Thus, the Federal Emergency Administration of Public 
Works, soon to be popularly known as PWA, was launched 
on its career. 

In the rain-swept streets of Washington as well as in the 
stately offices of the White House, in homes and business 
offices throughout the Nation, people knew that their Gov- 
ernment had embarked at last on a program of action to cope 
with a major problem of the depression. The radio and 
newspaper headlines carried the story to the myriad workers 
who had been normally employed in the construction trades 
carpenters, bricklayers, masons, plumbers, cement mixers, 
drillers, pipe fitters, truckmen, and steel workers. The mes- 
sage reached laborers in the iron, coal, lead, and copper 
mines, in the steel, lumber, and cement mills, in the factories 
making brick, tile, glass, hardware, linoleum, sheet metal, 
doors, bathtubs, radiators, derricks, and excavators. 

Here was an army of about 6% million skilled men who 
had participated from 1922 to 1930 in the largest construc- 
tion boom this country had ever known. During those 
buoyant, optimistic 8 years, they had worked with private 
and public capital to build and furnish materials for an 
average of well over 10 billion dollars worth of structures 
annually. For private individuals and firms they had built 
apartment buildings, homes, office buildings, and factories; 
for public utilities they had built dams, power plants, and 
telephone exchanges and had laid cables, pipes, wires, and 
rails; and for Federal, State, and local governments they had 
built bridges, roads, city halls, courthouses, schools, hospitals, 
and administration buildings. 




O : 



Then came a certain i6-million-share day on the stock 
exchange. The shattering of the ticker heralded depression. 
Construction slowed down. Expenditures by private indi- 
viduals declined. Expenditures by public utilities dwindled. 
Expenditures by State and local governments staggered to a 
standstill. Only the Federal Government, whose normal 
expenditures for construction accounted for a mere fraction, 
less than 3 percent of the total, continued its activities. All 
in all, by 1933 total expenditures for construction of all types 
trickled down to less than a third of that of peak years. 

Urgent appeals were made by high Government officials 
for business to continue its building activities. Special 
appeals were directed to the public utilities. They were of 
no avail. The bread lines grew longer and longer. But 
there is no need to dwell on this story of the anguish and 
despair that prevailed. The memory of man is not so short. 

Voices from the dim past now began to make themselves 
heard the voices of men who had long advocated expansion 
of public works in times of depression. These men were not 
gloomy Jeremiahs. They were hardheaded realists busi- 
nessmen, industrialists, practical economists, and foresighted 
legislators in various State assemblies and in the National 
Congress. They were men who knew that since earliest 
times public works had been used in all countries to take up 
the slack in unemployment. 

When it finally dawned on the Nation that here was no 
mere fluctuation in the business cycle, that the country was 
really in a major depression, these ideas began to gather 
weight. Modern protagonists of the theory urged action by 
the United States. In the United States Congress, Senators 
Wagner, La Follette, Costigan, Cutting, and others advo- 
cated the immediate launching of a Nation-wide program of 
public works. Bill after bill was introduced in Congress. 
They were all pigeonholed, defeated, or vetoed. Finally in 
1932, a compromise measure, the Emergency Relief and 
Construction Act, reached the desk of President Hoover and 
was signed. 



PUBLIC WORKS GENERATE EMPLOYMENT 



PWA P.ROJECT 



WORK AT SI 



WORK OFF SITE 




CONSUMERS' GOODS 




; = i = = 




THE ACT OF 1932 

This act provided $329,660,000 for Federal public works 
and authorized the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to 
lend up to i% billion dollars for construction to States, 
counties and cities, and, in some instances, private corpora- 
tions. But there were strings tied to this measure. The 
non-Federal public works had to be "self-liquidating" in 
character. They had to be projects that would earn an 
income. 

While sponsors of the bill were proud of it, feeling they had 
made a step forward, other advocates of real public works felt 
the act did not go far enough. They felt that the sum of 
money appropriated for this program was too small a force to 
cope with a major depression. The quantity of Federal 
works authorized was small. The amount authorized for 
loans, even if local governments availed themselves of the full 
amount permitted, was negligible compared with the needs at 
the moment. 

As it turned out, the program exerted little effect. What 
benefits it did create were more than offset by the defla- 
tionary policies in vogue with Federal and local governments. 
While public bodies on the one hand were trying to create 
increased employment and increased purchasing power, on 
the other hand, they were cutting salaries, stopping many 
normal activities, curtailing many services, avoiding as much 
borrowing as they could, and in many instances increasing 
property taxes and installing sales taxes. All of this aggra- 
vated rather than ameliorated the situation. Chicago was 
flat on its back; it was not paying its school teachers, its 
policemen and firemen. It stopped all building. Cincinnati 
could not float a bond at a decent rate of interest. Boston was 
facing a crisis. San Francisco had scores of baffling problems. 
From coast to coast, municipalities were in financial distress. 

BASIC OBJECTIVES 

It was not until the middle of 1933, with the advent of 
PWA, that the United States after years of discussion and 
after many false starts embarked on a program approaching 



sufficient size and scope to test the theories which had long 
been advocated. 

What were these theories ? They were based on the premise 
that recovery could not be achieved by pep talks. Industry 
could not be stimulated solely by slogans of "confidence." 
Here was a country with a great and growing need for more 
schools, more highways, more bridges, more waterworks, 
more services of all kinds. Here was an army of men willing 
and able to build them. Here was industry hungry for orders 
for the needed materials. The idea was to bring all of them 
together. The job would have to be done some time, why not 
now? 

To do the job, everyone knew, would require a lot of money. 
It would require the immediate outlay of a lump sum that 
would normally be budgeted over a period of years. It would 
require billions, not millions of dollars. But the alternatives 
were also considered: the cost of maintaining this additional 
army of unemployed ; the cost of bankrupt factories unable to 
get material orders; the cost of failure to distributors and 
small-business men engaged in the wholesale and retail 
trades, suffering from the repeated shocks of decreasing pur- 
chasing power. These are economic costs. To them must be 
added the incalculable cost of lost technical skill, of lost 
morale, of lost opportunity. 

The basic objective was to restore purchasing power to 
bolster a sagging national income. By providing jobs and 
material orders through the normal channels of business a 
whole segment of the economic structure could be aided. Exist- 
ing enterprises contracting firms, engineering firms, architec- 
tural firms, material and supply dealers, fabricating plants 
and mills could be sustained. Workers in the construction 
and allied trades the third largest group of workers in the 
Nation 2 (exceeded in size only by the farm group and the 
retail and wholesale trade group) could fulfill their consumer 
needs. The whole economy could be stimulated. 

PWA was set up to provide jobs, to stimulate business, to 

2 See Construction Activity in the United States, U. S. Department of Commerce, Govt. 
Printing Office, Washington 1938. 



increase the national purchasing power, and to help fulfill the 
needs of the people for permanent and useful public services. 
Congress gave the PWA the powers to carry out such a 
program through public works, and provided the agency with 
an initial fund of $3, 300,000,000 the largest sum of money 
ever appropriated for such a purpose. Later, under succeed- 
ing acts, 3 which extended the life of PWA and clarified its 
authority, Congress appropriated additional sums of money 
amounting to 31,655,000,000 4 and also authorized it to use 
some of the proceeds from the sale of bonds obtained by the 
Government as collateral for PWA loans. The authority 
granted PWA by Congress was of wide scope and the re- 
quirement that projects be "self-liquidating," a provision 
contained in the 1932 act, was absent. 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS 

Despite the lack of precedent for a program of such magni- 
tude, PWA plunged into its task with a determination to 
carry out the mandate of Congress with as much speed as 
prudence would allow. In the years since its establishment, 
PWA has financed the construction of 34,508 projects with 
an estimated cost of $6,086,000,000. Public works of every 
type and description from airway beacons to giant bridges 
and dams have been undertaken in all but 3 of the 3,071 
counties in the United States through cooperative efforts 
with other Federal agencies and with thousands of local 
governments. 

From July 1933 to March 1939, PWA aided in the con- 
struction of approximately 70 percent of all the educational 
buildings built in the country during the same period; 65 
percent of all the sewage treatment plants; 65 percent of all 
the courthouses, city halls, and other nonresidential public 
buildings; 10 percent of all the roads, streets, bridges, via- 
ducts, subways, and other engineering structures; and 35 
percent of all the hospitals and allied public-health facilities. 

3 For authority and power of PWA see Principal Acts and Executive Orders pertaining 
to Public Works Administration, Government Printing Office, Washington, July 1938. 

4 For appropriations to and obligations of PWA see table I in the appendix. 



8 



Various factors contributed to the ability of the program 
to accomplish its objectives in large part. In the first place, 
PWA was coordinated by the Administration with certain 
other recovery measures. And in the second place, PWA was 
established by the Congress as a Nation-wide cooperative 
program. The ability of PWA to assist State and local gov- 
ernments in meeting their requirements for public service 
was a vital element in executing a public-works program of 
wide scope. The mere expansion of Federal works, it has 
been shown, would never have had the same results. 

BENEFITS OF PUBLIC WORKS 

The public works constructed by all branches of Govern- 
ment has produced three salutary effects. Through wages, 
material orders, and other business contracts carried out 
through the normal processes of private business, the public- 
works program has created an effective demand for consumers 
goods and services, for so-called capital goods, and for financial 
credit. 

1. The wages paid out of funds for PWA projects to the 
men employed in the construction and allied trades went for 
the purchase of food, clothing, shelter, entertainment, and 
other services and products. Billions of paralyzed dollars, 
which might not otherwise have gone into circulation, were 
traded for consumers goods. 

2. The nature of PWA construction required considerable 
expenditures for so-called durable goods. Buildings, ships, 
dams, power plants, and other structures created a demand 
for pumps, heating plants, motors, tanks, elevators, and simi- 
lar goods. At the same time contractors and manufacturers 
with part of the funds obtained from PWA contracts were 
placed in a position to buy capital equipment and so-called 
producers goods, such as dredges, tractors, excavators, bull- 
dozers, trucks, jackhammers, compressors, and hoists. While 
the exact amount of such goods used on PWA projects has 
not yet been accurately determined, it is estimated that PWA 
accounted for a considerable part of the total industrial goods 
produced during the last several years. 



3. In many cases where businessmen did not have to 
utilize funds to maintain their enterprises they actually 
registered profits over a period of years. PWA contracts 
and material orders served as valid types of security and 
created a demand for loans from private banks and other 
lending agencies. Thus PWA activities have acted as an 
outlet for private credit resources. 

REGENERATIVE EFFECTS 

The funds released to a public works program, the experi- 
ence of PWA has shown, have a regenerative effect. PWA 
dollars continue to be used over and over again, creating a 
powerful and beneficent effect time and again, alternately to 
buy goods and to supply the wherewithal to pay men to 
produce more goods. A worker gets a PWA job. He 
receives his first pay envelope. He needs a suit of clothes, 
so he spends a part of his pay at the clothier. The clothing 
dealer takes part of the money and pays the jobber. The 
jobber takes part of the money and pays his manufacturer. 
The manufacturer pays his workers and buys more cloth 
from the mill. The mill owner, in turn, takes part of the 
money and buys wool and cotton, and perhaps more ma- 
chinery, and so on. A large part of such expenditures repre- 
sents a net increase in demands. 

It has also been considered important that PWA projects 
themselves do not compete with other products of industry. 
They do not enter on the market for sale. Rather, the 
buildings, bridges, sewer systems, roads, and other public 
works often serve to stimulate additional purchases and 
further employment of labor. The PWA buildings at the 
San Francisco Golden Gate Exposition, for example, help 
to stimulate tourist trade. Later they will serve as facilities 
for an international airport. 

The ability of a public-works program to take up some of 
the slack of the decline of the construction industry has been 
impressively demonstrated by PWA. It has established in 
the minds of people not only its capacity through democratic 
procedure to stimulate recovery, but also its possible value 



IO 



as a means of stabilizing our national economy. The 
experience of PWA indicates that public works can be 
utilized with great advantage to help keep the business cycles 
from dipping too low or going too high. It advances the 
probability that various local governments can curtail public 
construction to a great degree in times of economic prosperity, 
and can reserve such works as are not essential at the moment 
for periods of economic depression. By timely action, public 
works can assist greatly in halting a deflationary movement 
before it has gone too far. Or it can speed up recovery when 
the upswing begins. 

TRADITIONAL POLICY 

Advocates of public works have long urged their use for 
such a purpose. They have deplored the traditional policy 
hitherto pursued by the various local governments, namely, 
that of expanding and contracting public works parallel with 
expansion and contraction of business. In the past, public 
works as a rule were undertaken in good times when funds to 
initiate projects were easily available. As a result, govern- 
ments competed in boom times with private industry for 
labor, materials, and credit, thus raising the cost of public 
works. 

On the other hand, when depressions came, funds and 
credit were scarce. The public demanded a reduction of 
expenditures, so new construction came to a standstill. 
This curtailment coincided with the stoppage of private 
building. It aggravated the situation by adding to the 
problem of unemployment, idle goods, and unused capital. 
The governments, in that way, acted so as to deflate not 
only themselves but the economic communities dependent 
on them. 

For years outstanding statesmen 5 had argued for a re- 
versal of this policy. As early as 1919 a bill was introduced 
in Congress for the advance planning and control of public 
works. In 1921 public works planning was endorsed by the 

5 Such as Senator Kenyon who introduced a bill in 1919 carrying an appropriation of 
#100,000,000, to create a U. S. Emergency Public Works Board. 



I I 



President's conference on unemployment. Two years later, 
Secretary of Commerce Hoover requested in a letter to the 
President that "an Executive order be sent to all divisions of 
the Government to have public works slow down until after 
there is a relaxation in private demands for labor in con- 
struction." Finally, in 1931, Congress enacted a bill which 
provided that the Federal departments should prepare plans 
for construction projects for 6 years in advance. (See ch. 
VIII.) But this bill concerned only the Federal Government 
and left the larger portion of the public-works field unpro- 
vided for. 

PWA has shown how a public works program can be an 
effective Nation-wide program, which could operate like a 
peacetime army with a standing force under arms in the 
manner of an organized National Guard available for prompt 
action and with plans ready for larger mobilization. Even 
if it never became necessary to issue "marching orders" the 
Nation would still be in a position of economic preparedness. 
With the National Government in a position to determine 
through Congress when a Nation-wide program should be 
undertaken, it could obtain the cooperation of local govern- 
ments to reserve a share of their public works for future 
periods of emergency. 

ADVANCE PLANNING 

The use of public works as an instrument for economic 
stabilization, however, presupposes their advance planning. 
All construction in a sense involves some planning. The 
man who builds a bookcase for his library plans his job so 
as to produce it when he has the time and with an eye to 
the appearance and usefulness of the finished product. The 
architect building a home or the engineer responsible for a 
bridge also plans his work. Public works officials in towns, 
cities, and States are always drawing up plans for projects. 
But a collection of projects, worthy and well-designed in 
themselves, does not make for full and proper planning. 
One must consider public works in relation to the necessity 
for them, and to their timeliness, particularly in connection 



12 



with other improvements which are contemplated. If Any- 
town, for example, is limited by its finances as to the number 
of projects it can build, then it must consider what is needed 
most. Should it extend its sewer system first or build a new 
hospital first? If it is laying out a new industrial area, should 
it lay out its streets or build its water system first? Or 
should it wait until it can build several works at once so as to 
make full use of the new area? 

Planning frequently involves the relationship of a given 
improvement to similar needs in a whole area. If, for 
example, Anytown wants to build a sewage disposal system 
to abate pollution in the stream that runs through its resi- 
dential area, should it not attempt to coordinate its projects 
with those of other towns on the shores of the same stream? 
Planning also involves a choice between building a project 
of a size that would serve the present population or of a size 
that would take into account future needs. These are some 
of the aspects of planning which all Government officials 
must keep in mind. They are interrelated with municipal 
fiscal policy, and involve the long-range view, inasmuch as 
the financing of permanent improvements is a matter which 
nearly always extends over a long period of years. 

BASIS OF ACTION 

Today there are more than 1,50x3 towns, cities, and counties 
with planning commissions trying to develop comprehensive 
plans for the future of their communities and seeking to 
coordinate action to carry out their plans. The idea is 
rapidly spreading not only upon a local basis but also upon a 
State, regional, inter-State and even national basis. Such 
planning makes it possible to lay out a program of permanent 
improvements not on a year-to-year basis as has been the 
common practice in the past, but over a long period of years. 
Such an accumulation of projects can be utilized to build up 
a reservoir to be maintained during eras of prosperity, to be 
released at the proper time during periods of economic 
depression. 

How a reservoir of projects permits action to be undertaken 



with promptness was demonstrated by the Public Works 
Administration in 1938. With a "backlog" of applications 
on file, and with requests from municipalities for projects 
coming in at the rate of a billion dollars a month within a 
3-month period, PWA found that when it became necessary 
to expand public works activities at a given time, it was able 
to proceed with a minimum of delay. In many cases com- 
munities had already secured authorization for their bond 
issues, had drawn up detailed plans and specifications, and 
had acquired sites so that within 2 weeks' time after the word 
"go" was given, the dirt began to fly, and a vast Nation-wide 
program was under way. 

While PWA has shown that it has been able to create a 
remarkable expansion of public works in a time of depression, 
the task of creating a public works policy so flexible that 
communities would also be able and willing to contract its 
construction in boom periods and set up reservoirs of projects 
for emergency use is just now being tackled. PWA has of 
necessity had to contend with an emergency situation, but 
during its lifetime it has acquired a vast fund of information 
concerning public works of all sorts, Federal, State, and 
municipal, throughout the country, and has set up a smoothly 
functioning machinery containing expert personnel thoroughly 
familiar with the problems involved. 




UH ii 



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$?TN , 

-- ^ 



WORKERS AT GRAND COULEE DAM ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER IN WASHINGTON 
STATE LINE UP AT THE PAY WINDOWS TO RECEIVE THEIR WAGES. SOME 
HAVE HAD STEADY WORK ON THIS GIGANTIC PROJECT FOR THE PAST 5 YEARS 



AMERICA BUILDS 



Chapter II 



Men 

and Materials 




EVERY person wants to 
know what he is going to get 
for his money. A prudent investor also likes to examine 
carefully what he has bought so that he may determine 
whether his investment has been a good one, and whether, 
when the occasion arises, he would invest again in the same 
way. PWA, as a prudent investor, has made a technical 
examination of every local project proposed before it has 
allotted funds, and has maintained a check on the public 
works built with its funds. Every inventory it has taken 
shows that PWA projects, on the whole, have been well built 
and honestly built, and that the schools, hospitals, court- 
houses, bridges, roads, waterworks and other public works of 



a permanent nature have met definite community needs. 

But PWA was established as a recovery agency, and has 
therefore been interested in more than the end products of its 
investment. It has been interested in determining how much 
employment the building of these projects has created, how 
much employment it has provided at the sites of construction 
and in mills, plants, and factories supplying materials for the 
projects; how much stimulus it has provided for industry; how 
much business it has generated throughout our whole economy. 

Such facts have not been easy to determine. If PWA 
dollars could have been marked with a distinctive symbol, 
their progress and speed from the mint to the Treasury, from 
the Treasury to the local owners of public works, from the 
sponsors to the contractors, from the contractors to the 
workers and to the material manufacturers, and so on down 
the line, might have been easy to observe. Such, however, 
was not the case. Workers in factories making materials 
had no way of knowing that their wages were paid in PWA 
dollars. Brakemen and handlers on railroad lines shipping 
materials had no way of knowing that their wages were paid 
in PWA dollars. There was no simple way of determining 
what was happening to PWA dollars. 

YARDSTICK FOR INVESTMENT 

PWA, therefore, turned to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 
of the Department of Labor, an agency with a long-estab- 
lished reputation for recording the facts with regard to con- 
struction and employment, to make a study of the situation. 
A substantial part of that study has been completed. PWA 
can now tell for any one project or for any number of projects 
the number of man-hours of employment and the amount of 
wages provided directly at the site and indirectly in industries 
supplying materials, and other important data. And these 
figures can be used as a guide to future investment. 

The study of the Bureau of Labor Statistics was based on 
records showing the disbursement of PWA dollars. Each of 
these dollars that was used for a non-Federal project was 
made up of 45 cents from the Federal Treasury, and 55 cents 



18 



which came from the local government. 1 In the actual 
building operations, the private contractors who performed 
the work were the first to share in the disbursement of these 
dollars. The contractors submitted a certified copy of their 
pay rolls to the local sponsor, who in turn submitted it to the 
PWA engineer on the job. This statement showed the 
number of men employed on the construction site, how long 
each worked and how much each was paid. The contractors 
also submitted material orders, showing how much materials 
had been used, where they came from, and how much they cost. 

So the record began with the second shovelful of earth 
turned on each project (usually some local official turned the 
first shovelful gratis). This showed the visible employment 
the jobs given to the bricklayers, day laborers, riggers, stone 
masons, carpenters, plumbers, cement finishers, truck drivers 
and all the technical, skilled, and unskilled men which a 
public-works program calls into action. 

To obtain the complete record of this one phase of employ- 
ment, the contractors' pay roll forms for each of the thousands 
of PWA projects throughout the country were passed along 
and were neatly stacked in the Department of Labor. Each 
sheet was fed into the receiving end of a huge electric calcu- 
lating machine to be ejected as a small, punched card, looking 
something like a well-worn meal ticket, which in a way it was, 
for it had recorded the meals of millions of American citizens 
throughout the Nation. 

These cards were then fed one by one into another machine, 
and out of the far end of that machine came the constantly 
rising total of man-hours of employment on each site and the 
total sum spent there. 

As of March i, 1939, that figure had reached the grand 
total of 

1,714,797,910 man-hours 

of work at the sites and represented in wages a total of 

$1,206,451,900 
paid at the construction sites. 

1 In the first PWA program (NIRA) the ratio was 30 percent of the cost of labor and 
materials, and 70 percent loan. 



While these are sizable figures, they represent, respectively, 
only about one-quarter of the total employment created by 
the public-works program, and about one-third of the total 
PWA-recovery dollars. Out of the average dollar which 
goes for labor and materials, 35.8 cents went for labor at the 
site, while 64.2 cents went for materials. Of course, this ratio 
varied with the type of construction. In the case of naval 
construction, for example, as much as 48 percent went for 
labor at the site, while in the case of railroad shop work, as 
little as 25 percent went directly to labor at the site. These 
men received the regular wages prevailing in private industry 
for the kind of work they were doing. Their wages varied 
from an average of 50 cents an hour on public-road jobs to an 
average of 87 cents an hour on building-construction jobs. 

The dollars placed in the pay envelopes of the carpenters, 
plumbers, riveters, and other members of 307 different skilled 
trades, as well as in those of the many classes of unskilled 
workers, were used to buy goods and services. They started 
to generate demands which multiplied the real recovery 
effected by PWA. 

DISTRIBUTION OF DOLLARS 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics traced these dollars, undis- 
tinguished by marks from millions of others, beyond the pocket 
of the army of laborers working for contractors on PWA 
construction sites. The Bureau estimated that, for the 
Nation as a whole, the average PWA wage dollar is distrib- 
uted approximately as follows: 

32 cents goes to the local grocers for food. 

1 6 cents goes to the landlord for rent. 

12 cents goes for household operation. 

1 1 cents goes to buy clothing. 

9 cents goes for transportation. 

4 cents goes for medical care. 

4 cents goes for furniture and other equipment. 

5 cents goes for amusements. 

7 cents goes for other expenses (gifts, taxes, savings, 
education, reading, etc.). 



20 



PAY ROLL AND MATERIAL ORDERS 



TYPE OF PROJECT 



WAGES AT SITE 



WATER AND SEWAGE 




ROADS AND STREETS 




R.R. CONSTRUCTION 



MATERIAL ORDERS 




RIVER, HARBOR WORK 





FORESTRY 



NAVAL VESSELS 







fe/fft 





EACH SYMBOL REPRESENTS 10% OF TOTAL SPENT FOR 
WAGES AND MATERIALS AT THE SITE OF CONSTRUCTION 



Of course, this money circulates around the town, and helps 
the grocer pay his clerks, who pay their doctors' bills, who pay 
the garage men, and so on and on. This transfer of money is ^ 
labeled "business." When the transfer is fairly rapid, busi- 
ness is good, and there is recovery. And when a PWA project 
is being built, a lot of new pay envelopes are filled, and then 
emptied into the community, and that speeds up business. 

In studying the distribution of PWA wages for consumers' 
goods, the Bureau of Labor Statistics based its estimates on 
data obtained from a long series of studies on the cost of liv- 
ing in various American cities. The Bureau found that the 
distribution of consumer income varied in different sections 
of the country, and to a lesser degree between different cities 
within a given region. 

Topeka, the capital city of Kansas, is one of the cities which 
has participated in the public works program. The board of 
education, for example, cooperated with PWA in construct- 
ing several school projects, among which was the new East 
Side Junior High School. This school is a two-story, fire- 
proof, brick structure with a decorative tower, and contains a 
library, clinic, shops and auditorium and gymnasium as well 
as classrooms. The construction cost of the building (exclud- 
ing land and other items not part of actual building costs) 
amounted to $310,000. The workmen and clerical and super- 
visory personnel at the site of the project received in wages 
386,735. On the basis of the Bureau's studies of workers' 
expenditures, the Bureau estimated that the workmen spent 
their PWA dollars approximately as follows: 

They spent $30,800 for food. 

They spent $11,275 f r rent. 

They spent $11,540 for household operation. 

They spent $8,500 for clothing. 

They spent $7,025 for transportation. 

They spent $4,080 for medical care. 

They spent $2,775 f r household equipment. 

They spent $1,990 for amusements. 

They used $8,750 for other expenses, gifts, education, 
insurance, taxes, and savings. 



2 2 



The creation of pay rolls, because of this direct employ- 
ment, had obvious secondary benefits. Workers previously 
without jobs used their pay checks to purchase many items 
long denied their families new clothing, new furniture and 
household equipment, and dental care. Buying power was 
put into motion. 

All such purchases, wherever made, have a direct effect on 
merchants. If their business improves measurably, their 
shelves are cleared of old stocks, new goods can be ordered, 
and additional help may be employed. Some of these pur- 
chases would have been made anyhow, for if these workers 
were unemployed they would still receive from relief funds or 
other sources enough to buy the bare necessities. But the 
workers on PWA projects buy beyond subsistence needs, and 
in that way create a substantial increase in purchasing power. 
This greater purchasing power reflects itself in increased em- 
ployment in the retail and wholesale trades, the home-build- 
ing field, and in industries making automobiles, radios, fur- 
niture, refrigerators, and other quasi-durable goods, as well as 
those producing so-called consumers' goods. 

Up to this point, only one-third of the PWA-recovery dol- 
lar has been accounted for. The Bureau also studied the ef- 
fects of the other two-thirds. The East Side Junior High 
School in Topeka may again serve to illustrate the findings 
which the Bureau made. 

MONEY FOR MATERIALS 

The cost of materials for the school amounted to a little 
more than $170,000, or about two-thirds of the total bill for 
labor and materials. This ratio was the same as that which 
was found to be true for all nonresidential building construc- 
tion throughout the Nation. The money went for a great 
variety of materials brick and tile, lumber and millwork, 
iron and steel products, cement and concrete products, 
heating and ventilating materials, plumbing materials and 
electrical goods, sand and gravel and the like. 

The record showed that approximately $70,000, or about 



one-fourth of the total construction cost, was spent on mate- 
rials right in Topeka. One bill, for example, was for $5,809 
worth of sand and gravel purchased from a nearby producer. 
Out of this, the firm that received the order was able to use 
a portion toward meeting the cost of maintaining his plant, 
making repairs, and paying salesmen, insurance and taxes; 
and to pay the wages of its workers and the men who trucked 
the materials to the site. Another bill, amounting to $26,- 
283, was for bricks and other clay products, and this order 
also went to a nearby producer, where more men were em- 
ployed. Other material orders, necessary to supply a sub- 
stantial share of the supplies needed at the site, also went to 
local or nearby dealers and producers. 

The result of all these local orders was to increase the 
purchasing power in Topeka by many additional thousands 
of dollars. The profits made by the material supply dealers 
and producers, and the wages paid their employees for pro- 
ducing and shipping the goods, found their way in large part 
to the cash registers and tills of local merchants, and provided 
the community with an increase in business volume that 
might not have been achieved otherwise. 

WIDESPREAD EFFECTS 

But Topeka, like all other cities, does not produce every- 
thing it needs. Other supplies for construction of the school 
had to come from other industrial areas, sometimes from 
considerable distances. There were, for example, such 
items as $11,341 worth of electrical goods that may have 
come from Pittsburgh or Schenectady. And in order to 
produce these products, the manufacturers in Pittsburgh or 
Schenectady may have had to obtain copper from the Far 
West, and insulating cotton from the deep South, and steel 
tubing from the Midwest. Consequently, a share of the 
PWA dollar found its way to each of these regions, where the 
producers in like manner used the money to pay for raw 
materials, to pay the wages of workers, to pay for transpor- 
tation, overhead, taxes, and set a portion aside for surplus or 






WIDESPREAD SOURCE OF MATERIALS 
FOR A PWA PROJECT 



OREGON 



Rough Lumber 



CALIFORNIA 

Cement 
Steel 

Granite 
Linoleum 

Paint 

Terra Cotta 
Electrical Wire 

Plumbing Fixtures 

Sheet Metal 
Electrical Goods 
R o o fin g 
G r a vet 
Sand 



WISCONSIN 



Temperature 
Control 



OHIO 

Structural Steel 
Steel Plate 
Steel Pipe 



MICHIGAN 



'Valves and 
Fittings 



Stael Sash 




Mill 1 1 HIM 



ALAMEDA COUNTY 

COURTHOUSE 

Oakland. Calif. 




MASS. 

Valves and Fitti 



I CONN. 



Electrical Goods 
Copper Pipe 
Hardware 



Plumbing 
Fixtures 



Refrigeration 
Heating Coils 
' Electric Motors 
< E levator Doors 
'Electrical Goods 



PENNSYLVANIA: 

Structural Steel Sheet Metal 

Sheet Copper Boilers 
Wrought Iron Pipe 
Plumbing Fixtures 
Electrical Goods Glass 



MUM 



MARYLAND 

Coppery Pipe 'Structural 
Steel 



Radiators 

Electrical 
Equip. 



profit. The net result was that the construction of a school 
building in Topeka, Kans., brought wages, profits, and in- 
creased business volume to communities hundreds of miles 
away from the site of construction. 

This widespread distribution of material orders has taken 
place on every PWA project. The construction of Grand 
Coulee Dam, in the State of Washington, has thus far called 
for the shipment of materials from 46 of the 48 States of the 
Union. The construction of the Alameda County Court- 
house in Oakland, Calif., required materials that were manu- 
factured in 1 8 States, ranging from the home State to as far 
east as Massachusetts and Rhode Island. To realize the 
full effect of the distribution of PWA dollars, one must add 
together the material orders for nearly 34,500 projects. 

To determine the total amount of supplies, the Bureau of 
Labor Statistics turned to the records of material orders which 
showed how much of each type of material was used, from 
whom the materials were purchased, and how much they 
cost. These records were made into punchcards, similar to 
the ones made for direct employment and wages, and these 
cards were duly fed to the huge calculating machines. Year 
after year, these machines hummed on, and on March I, 1939, 
the machines showed that PWA projects had called for a total of 

$2,174,833,431 worth of materials 

proving that the public works program had turned out to be 
the Nation's best customer for almost all types of heavy 
industry. Iron and steel products, machinery, and cement 
and concrete products led the list of materials specified for the 
projects. (A complete list of the major types of materials 
purchased may be found in table 2, in the appendix.) 

AIDS To INDUSTRY 

In the early years of the public works program, when the 
Nation was just beginning to recover from the depression 
slump, PWA material orders were equivalent to as much as 
three-fourths of the total output in some industries. In 1934, 



for example, PWA orders amounted to a ratio of 74 percent of 
the entire output of cement for that year, almost 40 percent 
of the total output of fabricated structural and reinforcing 
steel, 35 percent of the total production of cast-iron pipe and 
fittings, and 38 percent of the total commercial production of 
sand and gravel. As recovery continued, these percentages 
generally declined, but for 1938, the ratio of PWA orders for 
structural and reinforcing steel alone amounted to almost 
one-fifth of the industrial production, and while recovery 
took place in many industries, a general survey indicates that 
the sharpest increases took place in the lines of business 
supplying public works projects. 

Materials purchased for PWA construction projects 
Ratio of orders to total production 1934-37 1 



Type of material 


1934 


1935 


1936 


19372 


Brick and hollow tile 


23.5 


26.9 


42.7 


27.7 


Cement 


73.6 


36.8 


16.8 


13.2 


Structural and reinforcing steel 


39.8 


35.9 


23.8 


12.3 


Cast-iron pipe and fittings 


35.0 


30.0 


31.8 


17.7 


Sand and gravel 


37.7 


26.6 


16.6 


9.9 













Estimates for cast-iron pipe and for structural and reinforcing steel from data supplied 
by National Resources Committee; all others from Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

1 PWA orders include certain distribution costs. 

2 PWA expenditures curtailed. 

After the Bureau had obtained the total value of materials 
purchased, several questions arose. How many man-hours 
of work did it require to produce these materials ? In other 
words, what was the total of such indirect employment 
created by PWA? And so, to obtain the answer, the Bureau 
looked down the long lists of material orders on hand, and for 
the selected industries made comprehensive studies of the 
man-hours required to produce and distribute units of these 
materials. In order successfully to complete these studies, 
the Bureau sent representatives to the manufacturers in these 
industries and from their records determined how many man- 
hours of work were required to produce a given amount of 
structural steel, cement, lumber, brick, plumbing supplies, 



2 7 



electrical equipment and supplies, sand and gravel, and so on 
down the line of materials. 

In these industries, the Bureau traced the various steps 
required in the manufacture and distribution of the products 
that went into the public works from the project to the 
dealer, from the dealer to the manufacturer, from the manu- 
facturer to the producer of the raw materials back to the 
ultimate source in the mines where the ore was dug, and to 
lumber camps where trees were felled. At the same time, a 
survey was made of the amount of employment created in 
transporting the various materials to the sites of construction. 

Through all this research, the Bureau determined that the 
indirect employment created by PWA material orders 
amounted (as of March I, 1939) to approximately 

3,179,000,00x3 man-hours 

In other words, for every 2 hours of work created at the 
construction site of a local project, 5 hours of work were 
generated in factories, plants, and mills manufacturing ma- 



MAN HOURS 
DIRECT 




MAN HOURS 
INDIRECT 




terials, and on transportation lines shipping the supplies to 
the site. This ratio of 2 to 5 was a factor that had long been 
indeterminate and had been the matter of conjecture on the 
part of economists for many years. 

By adding the total number of man-hours of indirect em- 
ployment to that of direct employment which had been 



SPREAD OF CONSTRUCTION DOLLARS 





$450,000 



CONSTRUCTION 
j ACCOUNT 
f 1.000.000. 



I 



PRODUCTS 







|l SO, 000. 
CEMENT AND CONCRETE 




$39,060: 

LUMBER, WOOD PRODUCTS 




SAND AND GRAVEL 



MASONRY, CLAY PRODUCTS 





164,000 
PLUMBING, HEATING EQUB? 




ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT 




i4i v 60o. 

MISCELLANEOUS 



previously obtained, the Bureau determined that, as of 
March i, 1939, PWA had provided a total of 4,894,000,000 
man-hours of primary employment. For this figure to have 
any value to the Government for future planning, it was 
necessary, however, to determine not only the total, but to 
obtain a yardstick which would measure the amount of 
employment for every different major type of construc- 
tion. It was found that each million dollars of expendi- 
tures should create the following number of man-hours of 
employment : 



Type of project 


Direct 


Indirect 


Total man- 
hours 


Streets and roads _ _ _ 


475,000 


668,700 


, 143, 700 


Water supply 


262,000 


875, 900 


, 137 900 


Naval vessels 


491,000 


589,000 


, 080, 000 


Reclamation 


402,000 


644,800 


, 046, 800 


Residential building 


410,000 


615,000 


, 025, 000 


Sewage disposal 


358,000 


666, 500 


, 024, 500 


Nonresidential building 


344,000 


657,000 


,001,000 


Diesel power and light 


161,000 


641,000 


802,000 


Steam power and light _ _ _ 


161,000 


620, 100 


781, 100 











This study also showed the amount of material each indus- 
try could be expected to furnish for every million dollars' 
worth of contracts awarded for various types of construction 
(see table 3 in the appendix), and the number of man-hours 
of employment each industry would provide in producing 
materials for every type of construction. For example, in 
the case of a nonresidential building costing $1,000,000 to 
erect, 1,001,000 man-hours of employment would be created, 
of which 657,000 would be indirect. The latter figure would 
be made up of the following: 202,700 in the industries fabri- 
cating iron and steel products; 51,900 in the lumber mills and 
camps; 37,800 in the brickyards; 31,000 in the sand and gravel 
pits; 28,800 in the plants making heating and ventilating 
supplies; 27,000 in the factories making electrical equipment; 
25,700 in the cement mills; 21,900 in the plumbing supply 
factories; and 230,200 in other industries for fabrication, 
transportation, and administration. 



THROUGH PRIVATE ENTERPRISE 

All of these men, who have been given work as a result of 
PWA contract awards, have worked, not for the Government, 
but for private enterprise at prevailing wages and under 
working conditions common to American workmen. 

In making these studies for PWA, the Bureau of Labor 
Statistics also learned that a substantial portion of the funds 
invested in public works has resulted in profits to private 
enterprise and in an inestimable number of instances has 
contributed to the ability of individual firms to remain in 
business. When this factor is also taken into consideration, 
it is obvious that the public works program has increased the 
volume of business and the national income by a substantial 
amount. 

There are other factors which are essential to an under- 
standing of the full effect of the public works program. How 
much work was generated as a result of wages earned by men 
working directly or indirectly for PWA projects? How 
much work was generated as a result of expenditures of pay 
rolls created by the purchase of durable goods, such as steam 
shovels, lathes, ventilation motors, and machines ordered by 
contractors and manufacturers who filled PWA orders? 
As yet, there is no complete measure for this type of em- 
ployment. Perhaps, further studies will provide the answers 
to these questions also. 

But the surveys so far completed have yielded a practical 
yardstick for the future. Six years ago, facing a crisis in 
the national economy, PWA had to start without any 
definite knowledge as to what its investments in public 
works would mean in terms of employment, wages, and 
material orders for industry. Today, however, the Govern- 
ment can estimate with accuracy the returns it may expect 
from expenditures for all kinds of public works. And in the 
future, it can utilize this knowledge to aim directly at its 
objectives. 



AMERICA BUILDS 



Chapter III 



Mandate 
of Congress 




IT IS no simple task to build 
34,500 public works across 3 
million square miles of America, to provide millions of man- 
hours of work in private industry in depression times. The 
building up of the greatest construction agency of modern 
times is a story of pioneering noteworthy in itself. It is the 
story of transforming a 6,ooo-word law of Congress into an 
organization that has affected 130 million Americans in their 
daily lives. 

Tried and tested by 6 years of service, the PWA organiza- 
tion is made up of a group of seasoned technical experts plus 
a force of stenographers and clerks at work in every section 
of the country and in the Islands and Territories. 



33 



But this organization did not arise phoenixlike from the 
ashes of a depression. Starting with 39 men, serving without 
pay, in the black days of 1933, it has been built up gradually 
and painstakingly over a period of years. 

PWA started as several pages of paper unemotionally 
labeled Title II of H. R. 5755.* 

That act of Congress said: To effectuate public works and 
construction projects the President is authorized to create a 
Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works all powers 
of which are to be exercised by an administrator. 

Not long after signing that bill the President called in 
Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes, and appointed him 
Administrator of Public Works. 

It was as simple as that. One man said to another, "You are 
to be Public Works Administrator." With the appointment 
went the responsibility of overseeing the honest and efficient 
expenditure of billions of dollars to help bring about recovery. 

There was no time then to reflect on the magnitude of the 
task. It called for action and immediate action. It called 
for courage as well as caution. 

Congress had laid down the broad outlines in the law. 
That is all it could do. That is all the Constitutional Con- 
vention could do back in 1787, when it wrote the Constitution 
and left to early Executives and Congress the task of creating 
a government and making it work. 

ORGANIZATION 

The first job was to collect a staff. It required executives 
who could think clearly and act quickly and who would be 
right. It required men who would be willing to work long 
hours for the low wages which the Government could pay, 
and stand the abuse that is often heaped on the heads of 
those who hold public office. 

Some of the ablest technical men in the country volun- 
teered. They were men on whose judgment the Administra- 

1 Title I of the act provided for the establishment of the NRA. For complete powers of 
PWA see Principal Acts and Executive Orders Pertaining to the Public Works Administration, 
Government Printing Office, Washington, July 1938. 



34 



tor could depend. They made up the board of strategy to 
guide the course of battle against the depression. 

They brought other men with them engineers who had 
built world-famous bridges, lawyers who had guided the 
destinies of great corporations, young men who wanted to 
devote themselves to Government service, and old hands at 
finance, who saw an opportunity to contribute to the welfare 
of the Nation. 

There was plenty of work. There were a thousand ques- 
tions to be answered, and a hundred possible answers to each 
question, but there was no time for fine philosophical dis- 
cussion. The problems of the moment called for practical 
and speedy solution. Millions of unemployed people were 
tired of waiting for "prosperity to come around the corner." 
They wanted jobs. They wanted jobs in private industry. 

The law outlined the first task with the statement that, 
The Administrator * * shall prepare a comprehensive 

program of public works. The law went on to describe 
public works as the construction and repair of public high- 
ways and parkways, and public buildings; the conserva- 
tion and development of natural resources including the 
control, utilization, and purification of waters; prevention of 
soil or coastal erosion; development of water power; trans- 
mission of electrical energy; and construction of river and 
harbor improvements and flood control; and also the con- 
struction of any river or drainage improvement; construction, 
reconstruction, alteration, or repair under public regulation 
or control of low-cost housing and slum-clearance projects. 
And just to make sure, Congress added, Any projects of the 
character heretofore constructed or carried on either directly 
by public authority or with public aid to serve the interests 
of the general public. 

CRITERIA ESTABLISHED 

The Administrator and his staff went to work. In a short 
time they established the criteria that PWA was to follow, 
without deviation, up to the present. 



35 



These were the yardsticks by which an application of the 
local community was measured : 

1. The social desirability of the project and its relation to coordinated 
planning. 

2. Its economic desirability; that is, its relation to unemployment and 
the revival of industry. 

3. The soundness of the project from engineering and technical stand- 
points. 

4. The financial ability of the applicant to complete the work and 
"reasonably secure" any loans by the United States. 

5. The legal collectibility of the securities to be purchased or the 
enforceability of any lease entered into. 

The nucleus of men started to sort out the available projects 
according to this formula. In each State a board of out- 
standing persons was drafted to advise on local projects to be 
presented. But municipalities were unprepared. The ex- 
pected rush of sound applications failed to materialize. 
Projects were just being thought of. But thoughts were 
not enough at the moment. Construction had to be started; 
men had to be put to work. 

The Federal Government, however, was ready. The 
Federal Employment Stabilization Board, created in 1931, 
had laid out a 6-year program of construction. Many 
projects had been planned, and the Congress had in many 
instances already given authorization. But no funds had 
been available. The act, however, took cognizance of these 
works. It set aside funds for use of various bureaus. For 
example the law stated: For the purpose of providing for 
emergency construction of highways * * * to make grants 
* * * $400,000,000 in accordance with the provisions of 
the Federal Highway Act approved November 9, 1931. The 
Bureau of Public Roads of the Department of Agriculture, 
which had supervised road construction for 20 years, and 
had supplanted the chaos of independent unconnected roads 
with uniform highways, could put such construction into 
high gear at once through the highway departments of the 
several States. 

The President, under authority to construct, finance 



* * * projects included in the program ordered 2 that 
this sum specified in the law be set aside for public roads at 
once, and also transferred $238,000,000 to the Navy Depart- 
ment "for construction of certain vessels." Later, other 
Federal allocations of funds were made. 

THE NON-FEDERAL PROGRAM 

That was the start. The real test of PWA was still ahead. 
The PWA law posed the problem in a few simple words: 
With a view to increasing employment quickly (while reasonably 
securing any loans made by the United States) * to 

make grants to the States and municipalities or other public 
bodies for such projects, but no such grant shall be in excess of 
30 percent of the cost of labor and materials. 

There had been no precedent to guide a partnership of 
national and local governments on such a great scale. 

Bound by antiquated legal safeguards, most communities 
could not immediately undertake the necessary construction. 
In reply to appeals for aid from a hundred fronts, the Admin- 
istrator dispatched PWA lawyers to help work out new laws, 
codify, speed the process up so men could go to work. Courts 
were asked to test the powers of these new laws, to clear the 
way for construction that would follow. 

The collapse of municipal credit provided another stum- 
bling block. PWA's financial experts advised, consulted, 
devised new methods of financing. They laid a firmer 
groundwork on which to build the program. In doing this, 
the way was paved for reforms in the cumbersome financial 
set-up of many of the Nation's municipalities, and they put 
the tremendous resources of PWA's lending power at the 
communities' disposal. 

With legal and financial powers clarified in more and more 
communities, the offices of the 48 PWA State engineers were 
flooded with applications for aid. A school board tele- 
graphed for a new building "so that children now attending 
classes in an abandoned coal bin may be decently housed." 
A mayor appealed for "immediate aid for a new water system 

2 Executive Order No. 6174, June 16, 1933. 

37 



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HE ADMINISTRATOR 




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DIVISION 
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to cut appalling death rate from water-borne disease." 
Along with such requests came the demands of visionaries- 
plans for hiring 10,000 men to kill corporeal snakes, plans for 
building and operating rockets to the moon, plans for floating 
platforms to bridge the oceans, plans for building moving 
sidewalks to carry itinerant Americans at a dignified pace 
from coast to coast. Each project was matched against the 
criteria set up by the Administrator. 

Even after such obviously ridiculous proposals were weeded 
out, funds were not available for all applicants. Allotments 
were made on the basis of the social desirability of the under- 
taking, of the employment need of the community, and 
according to population. 

The President and the Administrator passed final judgment 
on the reports of their technical experts. Every proposal 
came up for discussion. Those that best suited the needs, 
those that contributed most to the Nation's hard-hit economy 
were chosen. Allotments were made. 3 Contracts were 
drawn up. PWA was ready to put the Nation to work. 

A POLICY FOR LABOR 

A fair labor policy was immediately needed. The law 
laid down the basis, saying, All contracts let for construction 
projects shall * * * contain provisions * * * so far as 
practicable * * * no individual shall 'work more than 30 
hours in any 1 week, and all employees shall be paid just and 
reasonable wages * * * sufficient to provide * * * living 
in decency and comfort * *. 

PWA amplified this, establishing the following policies: 

1. Opportunities for employment shall be equitably distributed among 
the qualified workers who are unemployed, not among those who 
merely wish to change one good job for another. 

2. Opportunities shall be distributed geographically as widely and as 
equitably as possible. 



3 Because municipalities were unprepared to put men to work immediately an allotment 
of $400,000,000 was made to the Civil Works Administration to tide the unemployed over 
the severe winter of 1933-34- 



39 



3- Qualified workers who, under the law are entitled to preference, 
shall be given such preference. 

4. The wastefulness and personal disappointments resulting from unwar- 
ranted migration of labor in quest of work shall be avoided. 

5. Local labor shall, so far as practicable, be selected from lists of 
qualified workers submitted by local employment agencies desig- 
nated by the United States Employment Service. Organized labor 
shall not be required to register for work at such agencies, but may be 
secured in the customary way through recognized trade union locals. 

6. No convict labor shall be employed. 

The contracts let, men were ready to go to work. Some- 
body had to see that it was done properly, according to speci- 
fications, see that 100 cents value was delivered for every 
dollar spent, that there was no chiseling on the Nation's 
recovery dollars. 

As the projects were built by local authorities, local 
inspectors were, of course, required. But the tradition of lax 
local inspection was intrenched in American practice. Too 
often local inspectors winked at substandard materials or 
wage "kick-backs." The practice had grown to be accepted 
in a number of communities. 

PWA, however, had decided that steps and measures should 
be taken to protect the Federal Government's interest, and a 
resident engineer was assigned to each project. He was the 
direct liaison between the Federal Government and the local 
authorities. He was instructed to be of service to the local 
authorities, and to see that no halts occurred that would 
throw men out of work. 

DECENTRALIZATION 

During the early policy-forming period, PWA's staff was 
largely concentrated in Washington, where it could be 
developed under the watchful eye of the Administrator. But 
as more projects got under way, an increasing portion of the 
work could best be done in the field. When there were more 
experienced men available at headquarters, it was possible to 
decentralize the organization. 

While the so-called non-Federal program was starting 
there were certain highly specialized tasks that had to be 



performed. For example, the law authorized: The construc- 
tion, reconstruction, alteration, or repair under public regula- 
tion and control of low-cost housing and slum-clearance projects. 
This was a wholly new problem in this Nation. There was 
no local authority capable of carrying on this work. The 
Administrator set up a semi-autonomous housing division to 
start this work. 

PWA also was called on to help private industry directly by 
refurbishing the Nation's railroads and a clause in the act 
stated : * * * to aid in the financing of such railroad main- 
tenance and equipment * * *. A railroad division was set 
up to make loans to help the hard-pressed carriers buy 
modern rolling stock and certain improvements. 

In addition, the law specified a program for: '* * * the 
development of water power, transmission of electrical energy. 
The unique problems of constructing public power projects 
involved so much controversy that a special power division 
was set up. This division struggled with the involved tech- 
nical problems that attended the efforts of the Nation and 
its communities to build their own public utilities. 

How good were the chances for graft? The economic 
welfare of millions of people depended on the proper use of 
the billions of dollars involved in this program. The Ad- 
ministrator was determined that public works could be 
carried on without the traditional graft and waste. He 
decided that PWA, like Caesar's wife, should be above re- 
proach. An investigations division, responsible only to the 
Administrator, enforced the rigid code of PWA standards of 
honesty. A few malefactors behind bars evidenced that 
PWA was in earnest. At the cost of occasional delays, the 
fight for this ideal of honesty in public works was won. 

MECHANICS OF EXPENDITURES 

While the battle for honesty was going on, the Adminis- 
trator faced a horde of critics who complained that the 
money was not being spent fast enough. These complaints 
were based on Treasury statements of PWA disbursements. 



The Administrator pointed out that Treasury statements 
of PWA expenditures lag a long way behind actual wages 
paid and materials manufactured. If the critics had bothered 
to look into the. matter, they would have found that the 
movement of funds generally takes place somewhat as follows : 

The contractor, who is awarded the job, frequently borrows 
from the bank or other credit source to finance his operations. 
From such funds he pays his men. The community then 
repays the contractor generally once a month. Later, after 
an auditor has checked the books and found everything in 
order, PWA repays the community. 

Thus it may be a month or months after the worker took 
his pay envelope home to buy a week's groceries, before the 
Treasury issued a check that made that pay envelope possible. 
Meanwhile, money had been put into circulation and business 
had received its stimulus far ahead of the time the Treasury 
check was cashed and the Treasury statement made public. 

Of course, the organization of PWA was never static. 
From the time it started, it evolved, refined, expanded here 
and contracted there, adapting itself to changing needs. 



REGIONAL OFFICES 
PUBLIC WORKS ADMINISTRATION 




SUCCEEDING ACTS 

By 1935 the advantages of this new type of recovery agency 
were so apparent that Congress extended its life, sending to 
the President a bill To increase employment by providing for 
useful projects * * * loans and grants * * * $900,000,000. 
Under this emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935, the 
amount of the outright Federal grant was increased by 
Executive order to 45 percent of the total cost of the project, 
instead of "30 percent of the cost of labor and materials" as 
under the first program. The increase provided for architects 
and engineers, the cost of necessary land, legal and adminis- 
trative fees. In operation it meant better planned and better 
executed projects. More communities were able to partici- 
pate in the recovery program. 

Congress made no mention of wage rates to be paid by the 
contractors under this law. The President, however, issued 
an order that "customary local rates for all trades and 
occupations" be paid. This started PWA's policy of pre- 
vailing wage rates on all projects. 

Congress called upon PWA again in 1936, authorizing it to 
use $300,000,000 from funds already on hand or to be raised 
from the sale of securities purchased under previous programs. 
PWA approved allotments of $179,642,771 under this act. 
This law was the first one to put public works on a "time- 
table," stating, * * * no part * * * shall be granted 
for any project unless * * * completion thereof can be sub- 
stantially accomplished prior to July 1, 1938. 

From the very start PWA has been thought of as a recovery 
agency. In an experiment to make PWA a relief agency 
instead of a recovery agency, some grants were made on the 
cost of relief labor employed plus 15 or 33% percent, as long 
as the total grant did not exceed 45 percent. This did not 
work. In the case of the north tube of the Lincoln Tunnel 
in New York, for example, the criterion of being on relief 
did not prove the best method of selecting men for the diffi- 
cult "sand hog" jobs. The same was true of other highly 
skilled trades. 



43 



In 1937 Congress appropriated $144,695,914 under the 
PWA Extension Act, which specified July i, 1939, as the date 
for completion of the projects. The act also specified that 
the organization which had carried on the program was to be 
liquidated. Personnel was drastically cut. The former 
State offices were regrouped into the present seven regional 
offices as a matter of economy. The virtual suspension of 
PWA recovery funds in 1937 proved to be too sudden. 

As a result, Congress put the problem of reversing the 
downward spiral to PWA. On June 21, 1938, the President 
signed the law calling on PWA to supervise the expenditure 
of $965,000,000. Confidence that PWA was prepared for 
the job was expressed in the clause: No funds appropriated 
* * * j or an y p ro j ec t * * * which cannot be com- 
menced prior to January 1, 1939, or the completion accomplished 
prior to June 30, 1940. This was the greatest construction 
program ever undertaken in such a short time. 

In liquidation when the law passed, PWA personnel was 
down to a nuclear basis. But that nucleus of 3,700 was able, 
experienced, trained down to a fine point. Without the ex- 
perienced, trained personnel it would have been impossible to 
expand the force to a point necessary to review 20,000 appli- 
cations, make 7,000 allotments, and get men to work on these 
projects in 187 working days. 

But on December 27 the Administrator wrote: "My dear 
Mr. President: I am happy to report the program is on 
schedule. Six thousand one hundred and eighty projects are 
under way." PWA had met the challenge. It had done the 
job, and in doing so had demonstrated the value of a smooth- 
functioning organization. 

CURRENT ORGANIZATON 

Today, as then, the work of that organization starts and 
ends with the engineer on the construction site. He is the 
man on the firing line, the man who sees to it that the policies 
of a Nation-wide public works program are carried out, that 
projects are well built, and that the contractors, workmen on 



44 



the job, and the material manufacturers receive equitable 
pay for honest work performed. 

He is linked to one of the seven 4 regional offices by a 
traveling engineer responsible for the smooth running of a 
score or more projects. The regional offices are complete 
miniature organizations of consulting engineers, lawyers, 
auditors, financial experts all of these under the supervision 
of regional directors who coordinate the construction program 
over a group of States. 

Behind these officers, acting as a final board of review, 
setting up basic policy, keeping the program on an even keel, 
stands the central office in Washington. Here, 15 major 
divisions prepare decisions for the Administrator's final action. 
Among these are three technical sections : First, there is a group 
of engineers who review the applications of local communities 
and the recommendations of the engineers in PWA's regional 
offices; second, a group of legal experts who check the powers 
of the community to build projects; and third, a group of 
financial experts who aid local authorities to raise money, and 
arrange loans where necessary. The reports of these techni- 
cal sections are condensed and analyzed by an administrative 
nucleus which matches the desirability of each project 
against other applications, and reports to the Administrator 
who recommends to the President what allotments shall be 
made. 

The Administrator's assistant on labor relations helps to 
determine the wage rates that the contractors' men will be 
paid on the job. A division of investigations, responsible 
only to the Administrator, checks any allegations of graft or 
waste. A committee certifies to the Administrator the 
amount of grant earned by each community for work com- 
pleted under the recovery program. 

There are also groups of advisers who aid the Administra- 
tor in handling special problems. There is a division which 
aids local authorities in constructing publicly owned utility 
plants and advises the Administrator on power policy. An- 

4 New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Omaha, Fort Worth, San Francisco, Portland. See map. 

45 



other section passes on the eligibility of other Federal agen- 
cies for PWA funds, which have been set aside by Congress 
for the construction of Federal projects. There are several 
groups of specialists who aid the Administrator in settling 
any labor disputes which may possibly arise. A statistical 
division keeps check on the general progress of the program, 
and an information section keeps the contractors, the indus- 
tries, the communities, and the public informed on all actions 
of PWA which affect the recovery program. 

That is the organization that has carried on American 
democracy's answer to the economic crisis. It is the group 
which has carried out the Nation's first-planned public works 
program and has kept men at work. 

The organization has made possible more than the erection 
of a multitude of useful and desirable structures and the 
creation of millions of man-hours of work, with honesty and 
efficiency. It has also, coincidentally, made possible notable 
contributions in the fields of municipal finance and law, and 
in the improvement of engineering and construction practices. 







THE NEW ALAMEDA COUNTY COURTHOUSE AT OAKLAND, CALIF., WHICH 
CONTAINS COUNTY OFFICES, A LAW LIBRARY, AND THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY S 
OFFICE AS WELL AS NUMEROUS COURTROOMS. THE STRUCTURE WAS 

COMPLETED IN 1936 



AMERICA BUILDS 



Chapter IV 



Legal 
Framework 




THE American Nation consists of a 
Federal Government, 48 Sovereign 
States, 3,071 counties, 24,734 cities, towns, and villages, about 
127,000 school districts and upward of 100,000 other duly 
constituted public bodies such as sewer and water commis- 
sions, irrigation districts, bridge commissions, and similar 
legal entities. 

Most of these thousands of government bodies are con- 
trolled by a Federal and State constitution and a variety of 
charters granted by the State government; and, in addition, 
most of them are governed by their own local laws. Each 
year new situations have arisen calling for new laws to deal 
with them. These situations are usually met, but the laws 



49 



enacted to cope with them remain in force, embodied in the 
statute books that grace any law office. One result of this is 
that the people of today still are governed by many laws 
eminently suited to customs and needs of the middle nine- 
teenth century. Another result: Even Caspar Milquetoast, 
the epitome of civic virtue and integrity, cannot get out of 
bed and go to work each day without breaking a round dozen 
of the thousands of laws governing the citizen's daily life. 

When Congress appropriated $3,300,000,000 to aid the local 
governments to put men back to work, it created a new situa- 
tion. The communities needed the money for the projects, 
the men needed the work, the Federal Government was ready 
to help, but the majority of the local governments found 
themselves in a morass of "left-over" laws that prevented 
them from immediate participation. 

It seemed that years might pass before the muncipalities 
could go through the stereotyped and frequently obsolete steps- 
of the legal ballet necessary to enable many of them to coop- 
erate in the public works program. In order to expedite 
action, PWA undertook to aid communities, at their request, 
to "find a clear legal path out of the jungle of contradictory 
laws." 

PWA lawyers worked with local lawyers, reviewing, dis- 
cussing, drafting, and suggesting. Communities needed 
broader legal powers to help themselves. Disheartening, 
time-consuming legal impediments had to be eliminated. 
The whole legal procedure had to be shortened. Before long, 
concrete proposals took form. 

ENABLING LEGISLATION 

Most of the Governors of the States were aware of the 
problems. They cooperated, and called State legislatures 
into special sessions. New laws were drafted and passed. 
Authority was granted for work to begin. In New Mexico, 
the legislature met in special session and enacted a new law 
which would enable the State to overcome existing handicaps. 
This act, typical of the new type of legislation, provided that, 



5 



Any municipality may issue and sell at private sale to the Federal 
Government, bonds for the financing of any public works projects 
* * *, may enter into agreements or contracts with the Federal 
Government, and may do any and all other things necessary or advisable 
in connection with any grant or loan of money by the Federal Govern- 
ment in connection with any public works project, * * * and may 
issue and sell at private sale to the Federal Government in connection 
with any public works project notes, temporary bonds, interim certifi- 
cates, or other negotiable instruments. * * * 

The statute specifically exempted PWA projects from any 
requirement of public elections other than as required by 
the State Constitution: 

notwithstanding the provisions of any general, special, or local law it 
shall not be necessary for any governing board to submit to the people 
any public-works project nor shall such public-works projects be subject 
to vote at any election unless and to the extent submission or such 
election is required by the constitution of the State of New Mexico. 

* * * If the governing board shall determine to submit the author- 
ization of any public- works project or the issuance of bonds therefor, or 
the levying of a tax to pay such bonds, to vote at an election, whether or 
not required by the constitution, such governing board may provide 
for such vote on notice published in a newspaper circulating in the 
municipality and posted in at least 10 conspicuous places on any day 
at least 7 days prior to such election; and no other notice shall be required. 

* * * The issuance of bonds * * * may be authorized by 
resolution which may be finally adopted on the same day at which it 
is introduced by a majority of all the members of the governing board; 
and such resolution need not be published before becoming effective. 

That statute operated to shorten the time, facilitate the 
procedure, and remove many of the difficulties which usually 
attended municipal bond issues in the State of New Mexico. 

In a test suit, the supreme court of New Mexico acknowl- 
edged the validity of that law. It recognized that its pur- 
pose was to enable political subdivisions of the State to 
avail themselves of the Federal Government's lending pro- 
gram in aid of industrial and economic recovery, and to 
suspend certain restrictions in the general law which would 
unduly delay or prevent the exercise of the municipalities' 
powers of borrowing. 



This law did what was necessary, and did it very simply. 
It provided that duly constituted public bodies could enter 
into contracts with the Federal Government, and gave them 
the power to issue necessary bonds to finance their share of 
the project, and to begin work. 

A score of States, alert to the necessities of those strenuous 
days, similarly reorganized and accelerated the creaking 
machinery which seemed inadequate to meet the emergency 
situation. New Mexico, New York, New Jersey, Colorado, 
Idaho, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland all 
joined in this movement. Red tape and arbitrary delays 
began to dissolve before the resolute attack of this new 
type of legislation. The problem was not to evade the 
laws, but to lop off antiquated and inconsequential restric- 
tions, and this was done. 

BOND PROCEDURES 

But even with this new-found authority the process was 
slow and cumbersome in the communities. There remained 
literally hundreds of steps necessary to issue local bonds 
after the taxpayers had approved them. The ritual was 
often confusing, and in many cases, the inadvertent omission 
of a single step somewhere along the line might have made 
the entire procedure illegal and the bonds therefore worth- 
less, necessitating a new start. To handle these bond cases, 
a special type of legal experience was required. Conse- 
quently, the lawyers for many local governments consulted 
PWA, and hundreds of communities, particularly the smaller 
ones which were not able to afford full-time lawyers especially 
versed in this field, appealed to PWA for legal aid. 

PWA tackled the problem by devising bond procedures which 
were widely applicable to the different States and their public 
bodies. The governing body could start on page i of this 
syllabus, debate and vote on local action, report the vote, 
follow the outlined procedure through to the last page, and 
thus take every step necessary to issue valid bonds for sale. 
Every point had been anticipated. Legal snarls were dras- 



tically cut. An energetic governing body could get through 
the essential legal steps in a real businesslike way. 

But in some States, the lawgivers of a bygone generation 
legislated "too well." Instead of setting down simple, guid- 
ing statements of fundamental principles, they wrote into 
their constitutions highly restrictive provisions that made 
every detail of a bond-issue procedure a stumbling block. 
In the main, these solons intended not to be obstructive or 
arbitrary; reflecting the spirit of their times, they merely 
sought to protect taxpayers from outlandish extravagance. 
In the South particularly, they were primarily interested in 
preventing a recurrence of the wildcat public financing of the 
carpetbagger and post-Civil-War days. 

While this may have had a beneficial influence on the credit 
of the States and their municipalities, it hampered the ability 
of the States to make full use of their credit. And when the 
contemporary public-works program was launched, these 
constitutional provisions challenged the utmost ingenuity of 
the legal profession. Because of the zeal of the Constitutional 
Convention of 1877, the State of Georgia, for example, en- 
joyed a high credit standing, but found its ability to share in 
the emergency public-works program severely limited. 

PUBLIC AUTHORITIES 

Other States were more or less hampered in the same way. 
Consequently, a pathway had to be pioneered to enable the 
Nation to go to work. PWA called the attention of the 
States and their municipalities to the new-born concept of 
the "public authority" (a special unit of government created 
to perform municipal services) and the modern technique of 
revenue-bond financing. 

Buffalo, N. Y., was among the first cities to utilize the 
public authority to solve a complex problem. For years 
Buffalo has been pouring its sewage into the Niagara River, 
the source of the drinking water supply of the towns beyond 
the Falls. The State board of health ordered Buffalo to 
cease and desist. Buffalo found that the cost of correcting 



53 



the situation would be $ 15,000,000. The State constitutional 
debt limitation allowed it to raise only $6,000,000 by taxes. 
No one doubted that Buffalo was financially able to raise 
more, but the constitutional restriction admitted of no argu- 
ment. Therefore, to meet the constitutional objection, it 
raised the funds, not by additional taxes, but by setting up 
an authority, similar to a business enterprise, which could 
charge the public for services rendered. 

It was an emergency. Buffalo lawyers, the Governor's 
own counsel, and PWA lawyers sat down together, and drew 
up a bill creating the Buffalo Sewer Authority. This au- 
thority was designed as a public benefit corporation and was 
empowered to build a sewage system to stop pollution of the 
rivers. The authority was authorized "to issue bonds for 
any of its corporate purposes." To repay those bonds, it was 
empowered "to fix and collect rate rentals and other charges 
for service * * * in accordance with * * * agree- 
ments with holders of bonds." The bill also provided that 
"the bonds * * * shall not be a debt of the State of 
New York or of the city (of Buffalo) and neither the State 
nor the city shall be liable thereon, nor shall they be payable 
out of any funds other than those of the authority." 1 After 
the bonds were paid off, the property was to be turned over to 
the city without cost. The authority was completely sepa- 
rated from the city government controlled by commis- 
sioners who served without pay. The authority received a 
$7,000,000 PWA grant, sold its bonds without trouble to 
private investors, built the sewer, reduced pollution in the 
river, and the once baffling problem was solved. 

The creation of this and other authorities was not an 
evasion of the law. It was the legal path for rendering an 
essential service to the public which had in theory always 
existed, but which merely had to be "discovered." As the 
court stated in one case dealing with an authority, similar to 
the Buffalo Sewer Authority and also organized in order to 
obtain PWA aid: "It is never an illegal evasion to accomplish 

1 See ch. 349 of the laws of New York, 1935, "An act creating the Buffalo Sewer 
Authority * * *." 



a desired result, lawful in itself, by discovering a legal way 
to do it." 

Laws creating authorities have been passed with PWA's co- 
operation in New York, Texas, Minnesota, California, Penn- 
sylvania, and many other States. Today authorities are 
providing electric power; furnishing gas and water; operating 
bridges, tunnels, schools, highways, and public institutions; 
in fact, rendering nearly every service that a modern com- 
munity must supply to its citizens. (Indeed there is even an 
authority operating the sun and stars in New York City's 
planetarium! 2 ) 

REVENUE BOND LEGISLATION 

PWA assisted communities in developing and using another 
legal process to enable existing bodies to finance projects 
from the revenues they would derive by operating the proj- 
ects. This legal process was the revenue bond; and PWA 
rendered notable assistance in the framing of revenue bond 
legislation. 

Under these acts, bonds may be issued which are payable 
only from the net income of the project, and which are not 
a debt of the public body issuing them, or of the municipality 
or State. A water system demonstrates this principle. 
Under the revenue bond system, each user pays for water 
received; the householder for a small amount, the big industry 
for a far larger amount. The public body renders its service 
for a charge, just as a private business charges for its service. 
Under the old system, the debt caused by constructing such 
a project could be paid off only by means of a tax on all the 
people. 

Hundreds of water systems and the like were built by means 
funds obtained through the issuance of revenue bonds. 3 
These are now being used throughout the Nation testi- 
monials to the efficacy of this revenue bond procedure. Ken- 
tucky needed new schools, but could not incur any new debts. 

2 Not a PWA project. 

3 An outline of the characteristic provisions of a revenue bond law may be found in the 
appendix, preceding the tables. 



55 



That did the school children no good. However, cities and 
counties could issue revenue bonds. They applied to PWA 
for a loan and grant. They built the schools with such aid. 
These schools were leased to the school districts, which paid 
the rent out of school taxes, and the rent is paying off the 
revenue bonds. The result is Kentucky children are going 
to school in 276 modern, safe buildings, which they would 
not have had otherwise. 

The enormous value of these legal devices cannot be meas- 
ured solely in terms of past PWA programs. Today they 
enable communities to meet other current financial needs, as 
well as to combat future economic crises. 

It was obvious from the start that these new types of legis- 
lation would have to be sustained in the courts if they were 
to be worth the paper they were written on. Until the 
courts upheld these new PWA laws, a citizen might drink 
unconstitutional water, or cross an unconstitutional bridge, 
or be operated on in an unconstitutional hospital. There- 
fore, as soon as these new laws were passed, test suits were 
started. And the local lawyers said to PWA's lawyers, 
"You helped write these laws, now you can help defend 
them." PWA welcomed these tests, so that the validity of 
these measures would be clear. 

Working side by side with local counsels in preparing the 
cases, PWA lawyers rendered valuable aid in defending their 
handiwork. Very few cases were decided against the new 
laws. Those decisions which suggested changes were strictly 
followed, and the changed procedures were duly tested in later 
court proceedings. 

COURT LITIGATION 



of the suits were test cases brought to establish a 
clear legal basis for the bonds issued under the new laws. 
However, in some cases the actions were far from friendly. 
In fact they were definitely brought to hinder the program. 
The climax came in the suits challenging the legality of PWA 
itself. Almost all of these suits were started by the power 
companies shortly after PWA made allotments for power 

56 



projects, and dragged on for 4 years before the Supreme 
Court settled them once and for all. These suits spared no 
time on small matters. They challenged the constitutionality 
of PWA, the delegation of powers to the President and the 
Administrator by Congress, the right of a public body to 
build the project, and the right of a public utility to be free 
from competition. A few of these suits involved gas or water 
works, but the great majority were brought by power 
companies. 

Over 100 suits were brought in scores of courts. The 
charges of unconstitutionality were similar in all of them. 
Injunctions were granted with a unanimity that reflected the 
legal philosophy of the time. 

Of course, the injunctions brought work to a standstill. 
Sixty million potential man-hours of desperately needed em- 
ployment were tied up in the courts. Additional millions of 
man-hours on construction sites and in the Nation's indus- 
tries hung in the balance. 

PWA lawyers went into action. Although the Depart- 
ment of Justice actually defended the suits, and ably carried 
on the 4-year legal battle, PWA bore the brunt of preparing 
the cases. Up and down through the Federal courts the 
battle raged. Test cases were selected from the scores avail- 
able. On the outcome of these test suits, the future of the 
Nation's recovery program rested. The case brought by the 
Alabama Power Co. against Harold L. Ickes reached the 
Supreme Court first on its merits, and it was this case which 
decisively settled the matter. 

The Alabama Power Co. claimed in a suit brought in the 
District of Columbia courts: 

1. The law creating PWA was unconstitutional. 

2. Even if the court found the law constitutional the Administrator was 
exceeding his power under it. 

3. The Administrator was conspiring with municipalities to help them 
build publicly owned plants unless the power companies reduced 
their rates. 

4. If the plants were built, the power companies would be deprived of 
their property without "due process of law." 



57 



The Administrator in his reply to the charges stated : 

1. PWA was authorized by the Constitution which states "Congress 
* * * may appropriate funds for the purpose of promoting the 
general welfare * * *." PWA was being administered accord- 
ing to the terms of the law. 

2. The communities were authorized by State law to build the plants. 
The Government made no distinction between power plants and any 
other authorized project. 

3. Since the cities had power to build and operate plants in competition 
with the power companies, the companies had no standing in court 
to question the source of the funds. 

The Federal court of the District of Columbia granted a 
preliminary injunction, but, after hearing the case, dismissed 
the suit against the Administrator. That was back in 1935. 

Undaunted, the power company tried the court of appeals. 
That court reexamined the complaint, and decided that the 
case should be sent back to the district court for trial. 

In the meantime, the court of appeals granted an injunc- 
tion. The district court again dismissed the case, and so the 
power company tried the court of appeals a second time, but 
this time the court of appeals also dismissed the case. 

The power company did not give up. It appealed to the 
United States Supreme Court to take an interest in the 
company's plight. The Supreme Court heard the case in 
December 1937. On the first decision day in 1938, on Janu- 
ary 3, the Supreme Court settled the case for good and 
all, on the ground that the power company had no legal right 
to complain that the municipalities were receiving PWA aid. 
Mr. Justice Sutherland who wrote the Court's opinion, said: 

* * * these municipalities have the right under State law to engage 
in the business in competition with petitioner, since it has been given no 
exclusive franchise. If its business be curtailed or destroyed by the 
operations of the municipalities, it will be by lawful competition from 

which no legal wrong results. 

******* 

John Doe, let us suppose, is engaged in operating a grocery store. Richard 
Roe, desiring to open a rival and competing establishment, seeks a loan 
from a manufacturing concern which, under its charter, is without 
authority to make the loan. The loan, if made, will be ultra vires. The 
State or a stockholder of the corporation, perhaps a creditor in some 

58 



circumstances, may, upon that ground, enjoin the loan. But may it be 
enjoined at the suit of John Doe, a stranger to the corporation, because 
the lawful use of the money will prove injurious to him and this result is 
foreseen and expected both by the lender and the borrower, Richard Roe? 
Certainly not, unless we are prepared to lay down the general rule that A, 
who will suffer damage from the lawful act of B, and who plainly will have 
no case against B, may nevertheless invoke judicial aid to restrain 
a third party, acting without authority, from furnishing means which will 
enable B to do what the law permits him to do. Such a rule would be 
opposed to sound reason, as we have already tried to show, and cannot be 
accepted. 

Every court of appeals had found the PWA law constitu- 
tional, and the Supreme Court 4 did not even rule on that 
point. There has been no further attack on this ground. 

One by one the injunctions were dissolved, and by the end 
of 1938, the communities which had been tied up in these 
suits were proceeding with their projects. The PWA 
defeated or successfully coped with every attempt to challenge 
the validity of its work in this way. 

PROJECT EXAMINATION 

In the meantime, while enabling legislation was being 
perfected, PWA was faced with a tremendous task of legal 
administration on works which were already under way. 
Several billion dollars worth of projects had to be built in 
accordance with the hundreds of thousands of laws appli- 
cable to the thousands of legal bodies throughout the country. 
And care had to be taken that every cent of that money 
would go for the purpose for which it was intended by 
Congress. 

From the time the application was first made, when PWA 
had to determine whether the applicant legally was able to 
build the project and issue the bonds, PWA's job was to see 
that every legal safeguard was met, and to simplify and 
codify the rules and regulations so that men could be em- 
ployed expeditiously, lawfully, and justly. 

PWA lawyers, in each of the regional offices, familiar with 

4 At the same time the Supreme Court took parallel action in a similar case, that of 
Greenwood County v. Duke Power Co. 



59 



local laws, were able to help communities with their legal 
problems as fast as they arose, and oftentimes to ferret 
them out before they arose, so that construction might flow 
smoothly along its way. Under this phase of the work, 
PWA drew up 16,697 agreements with the local governments, 
helped to prepare 3,187 bond proceedings, reviewed 66,000 
principal construction contracts, and checked all the legal 
steps along the way, besides providing the legal basis for the 
actual disbursements of funds by PWA disbursing officials. 

As each new problem arose, detailed recommendations for 
necessary changes in local legislation were made, so that the 
same stumbling block would not hinder the program twice. 
Over 1,000 drafts of local laws have been prepared by PWA, 
and nearly 500 have been used as the basis for legislation. 

The new laws and the standardized procedures with which 
many a municipality is now familiar, enabled the PWA to 
get under way in 1938 with record speed. The broader 
scope of social service that a modern municipality gives to 
its citizens is due in good part to the uses of the new tech- 
niques such as the public authority and the revenue bond acts. 
PWA has acted as a pioneer in the development of a new 
field of enlarged municipal service. But the legal Utopia 
has not been attained. To meet any future emergency with 
minimum delay and with maximum success, local govern- 
ments may have to continue to consider additional amend- 
ments to various laws. 



AMERICA BUILDS 



Chapter V 



Loans 
and Bonds 




WHEN the factory in Anytown 
closed and the workers lost their jobs, 
things began to happen to the very life of the community. 
The factory not only disappeared as the community's back- 
bone of employment, but the workers, unable to pay the 
taxes on their homes, deprived the community of revenue at 
a time when it was most needed. As the depression deep- 
ened, some of the workers forfeited their homes, and went to 
other localities to search for employment. As a result, 
property values in Anytown were further depressed and tax 
income was lowered even more. 

During such periods, virtually all communities "tighten 
their belts," attempting to conserve their funds by various 



61 



operating economies. But there is a limit to how far this 
process can be carried without serious consequences. A 
town cannot discharge its policemen or firemen, or shut down 
all its schools. If only to protect its capital investment, a 
town must maintain its plant keep its streets, schools, 
sewers, and other properties in good repair. Changing local 
conditions may even make it necessary to undertake new 
public construction. A variety of financing problems are 
then introduced. 

In the first place, the amount of money which a municipal- 
ity can borrow is limited, nearly always to a certain percentage 
of its property values. Consequently, when real-estate 
values are depressed, the amount of bonds it can issue is 
greatly reduced. In the second place, investors uncertain of 
the outlook are loath to buy the municipality's bonds; and 
communities which are in a position to issue bonds are forced, 
therefore, to pay a high rate of interest if they can sell them 
at all. 

When PWA was organized, communities throughout the 
United States which attempted to finance public works 
found themselves in just such a situation. Some were vir- 
tually bankrupt; others were severely hampered by Consti- 
tutional and statutory debt limitations. Even those which 
were considered "wealthy," and were able to issue bonds, 
had to pay exorbitant interest rates. The leading cities 
found it impossible to borrow money at less than 5 percent. 1 

FINANCIAL CRITERIA 

Some way had to be found to enable communities to raise 
their share of the costs of public works. The ultra-conserv- 
ative lending policy of bankers could accomplish little, but 
neither could PWA throw its money away. PWA found 
it necessary to establish financial criteria which would be 
sufficiently elastic to permit cities to participate in the pro- 
gram and yet meet the requirement of Congress that such 

1 In June 1933, the Bond Buyer's index of municipal bond prices of 20 "standard" cities 
stood at a yield at 5.7 percent, and its index of u "first grade" cities at 4.9 percent. 



62 



loans be "reasonably" secured. It was up to PWA to deter- 
mine the terms of the loans, and the types of security and 
rates of interest. 

PWA therefore adopted two simple criteria : 

1. The bonds had to be valid and enforceable; and 

2. There had to be reasonable assurance that they could be repaid 
with interest over a period of not more than 30 years. 

At the same time, PWA decided not to compete with pri- 
vate investors, but rather to encourage the private sale of 
bonds and thus help to restore the municipal bond market. 
It did not concentrate on "high-grade bonds" which would 
be readily salable. Furthermore, it established an interest 
rate of 4 percent, with the thought that this would be low 
enough to help communities in need of assistance, and yet 
high enough so as not to interfere with private investors in 
a normal municipal market. The fact that good municipal 
bonds were quoted at 60 or 70 had no influence on PWA. It 
purchased companion issues at the full face value, paying 
$100 for every bond having a redemption value of $100. 
For example, New York City's 4 percent bonds were selling 
at 77 in December 1933, but PWA bought a similar issue 
at 100. And this faith was rewarded, for these bonds were 
later resold to private investors at a profit. 

POLICY IN PRACTICE 

PWA took a liberal and helpful attitude, making full 
allowance for the depression period, especially when these 
difficulties appeared temporary and the community had a 
good past record. It anticipated improved financial condi- 
tions which would reflect increased values of taxable prop- 
erty, better tax collections, and brighter prospects for revenue 
from income producing projects. It granted loans unhesi- 
tatingly where future stability and growth held promise. 

In many cases, PWA worked actively with public officials 
in smaller communities, suggesting ways of revamping their 
financial structures. This not only helped them in qualify- 
ing for a PWA loan, but established future dividends to the 
taxpayers of the communities. Back in 1935, for example, 

63 



Union Free School District No. 28, Nassau County, N. Y., 
asked PWA for a loan and grant to build a high school at 
Long Beach, Long Island. Its finances were muddled and 
getting no better. PWA told the district it would like to 
help, but that it must first help itself. PWA pointed out 
that a more aggressive effort to collect taxes would cure 
most of the troubles, and would stop a dangerous habit of 
deficit borrowing. When the old high school was seriously 
damaged by the hurricane in 1938, the district came back 
saying that a new building was desperately needed. It also 
reported that it had followed PWA's suggestions and sup- 
plied evidence that it had put its financial house in order. 
A PWA loan of $460,000 and a grant of $376,363 were allotted 
and construction of a new high school was begun at Long 
Beach. Later, the school district notified PWA that the 
loan would not be needed after all, as it had received a bid 
for its bonds at less than 4-percent interest. 

At the same time, PWA discouraged communities from 
improvident public works construction. It has made every 
effort to avoid creating or increasing indebtedness to the 
point where it was likely to prove excessive and a source of 
financial difficulty outweighing the benefits derived from the 
improvement. PWA wanted no part in loading a white 
elephant on a community, and at times was forced to prick 
the bubble of local superenthusiasm. 

STANDARDS OF APPRAISAL 

PWA concluded the majority of loan agreements without 
the benefit of any personal contact between lender and 
borrower. To send an expert to each of the thousands of 
communities wanting loans would have required an enormous 
staff, and might have delayed the program for years. So 
the financial experts devised a new technique in the deter- 
mination of municipal credit responsibility. This consisted 
of a questionnaire which, if answered fully and correctly, 
would give a reasonably reliable picture of the ability of the 
community to repay the loan requested. 

This method, in general, proved to be simple, expedient, 



6 4 



and efficient; but in the case of revenue-bond financing of 
public works it presented many problems. There were no 
existing examples of financing many of the types of projects 
through issuance of revenue bonds. PWA was compelled 
to start "from scratch" in developing bases of appraisal and 
other standards for such obligations. 

This was particularly difficult in the first 2 years of opera- 
tion when financial analysis of local applications was handled 
entirely in the central office. Success was possible only 
because of the availability of a trained staff of engineers 
familiar with the construction and operation of municipal 
utilities and of finance examiners familiar with municipal 
credit problems. Since standards of appraisal were of neces- 
sity based on average conditions, it was only natural that 
occasionally a community did turn out to be of a very differ- 
ent nature from what it appeared on paper, and in many 
surprising respects. But common, practical sense avoided 
many pitfalls, such as the case where the entire population 
of a community would have had to die three times to pay 
out a revenue loan for a municipal cemetery, or where the 
entire feminine population of a community would have had 
to give birth to children on the average of once every 5 months 
to pay out a loan for a municipal maternity hospital. PWA 
found it difficult on occasion to sift out the true facts in decep- 
tively glowing earning statements of water or sewer systems, 
or harbor developments, as projected by enthusiastic appli- 
cants. This task was made easier, however, when the PWA 
technical staff was decentralized and came into personal 
contact with communities, their problems and prospects. 

LEGISLATIVE AID 

PWA could not have answered the urgent needs of com- 
munities for financial assistance merely by the development 
of suitable financial criteria. PWA (as the preceding chapter 
explained) also sponsored State and local legislation pro- 
viding new means of financing public improvements and 
simplifying the procedure for the issuance of municipal bonds. 
This was necessary because the lack of flexibility in State 



and local laws denied many communities the right to finance 
works which were not only socially desirable but were eco- 
nomically sound projects which were able to produce in- 
come sufficient to support the cost of their construction and 
operation. 

This legislation provided for the issuance of various forms 
of non-tax obligations through which revenue-producing 
public enterprises could be financed. It thus served to set 
up the services of the community on a businesslike basis. 
The repayment of the cost of the projects came to depend on 
the income they produced, rather than on the ability of the 
community to collect property taxes. 

In order to finance certain projects which were beyond the 
scope of the bonding capacity of any single community, new 
forms of quasi-municipal corporations, generally called 
"Authorities" were created in many instances. 

REVENUE BOND FINANCING 

Through the purchase of revenue bonds, PWA has financed 
many hundreds of waterworks, sewer systems, electric and 
gas improvements, and various other public enterprises for 
communities of all sizes, even down to villages of 400 to 500 
people. In some cases, the problems of working out a basis 
of financing a $ 15,000 waterworks system were no less com- 
plicated than those involved in a $20,000,000 toll bridge or 
tunnel, and received no less attention. 

The need of the city of Fort Smith, Ark., for a new water 
supply is a case illustrating the numerous problems worked 
out with PWA applications. Originally, the Fort Smith 
Water District requested $1,650,000 for a water supply sys- 
tem, but PWA's lawyers found that the district had no legal 
way of borrowing the money needed. 

After numerous conferences between the city officials and 
their representatives and PWA's representatives, a plan was 
worked out for the construction of a waterworks system. The 
money was to be raised by Waterworks Revenue Bonds. 
It was arranged that the city sell water at wholesale to the 
water district, which owned and operated the water distribu- 



66 



tion system in the city, and that the water district continue 
to retail it to the residents of the city. Several legal snarls 
had to be untangled, since the water supply system was to be 
entirely outside of the city limits, and nobody was sure that 
the city had authority to build anything outside its bounda- 
ries. It was also necessary to work out a valid contract be- 
tween the city and the water district covering the sale of 
water during the life of the loan. All the difficulties were 
ironed out, and the plan subsequently received the approval 
of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Similar plans have been 
used since in a number of other analogous cases. 

PWA has made mistakes, of course, but surprisingly few 
considering the vast amount of pioneering involved in such 
financing. In its extensive experience with this type of 
financing, the organization has made constant refinements in 
its criteria of appraisal and has fully tested its scope in the 
courts. These test cases not only have protected PWA's loan 
transactions, but have served to lay the groundwork for such 
financing so carefully that communities now find it possible 
to sell such bonds to private investors upon very attractive 
terms. 

Revenue bond financing, according to PWA's experience, 
is not only sound in theory, but also fosters a more equitable 
distribution of the charges for some municipal services. In 
other words, it makes it possible to charge some of the costs 
of a project against the users according to the benefits each 
user gets, rather than arbitrarily against the owners of real 
estate. For that reason, new public projects in the future 
will tend more and more to become self-supporting. (The 
trend toward revenue bond financing of PWA projects is 
shown in table 4 in the appendix.) 

PROFITS AND LOSSES 

Up to March i, 1939, PWA had made loans totaling 
$822,139,340, of which more than half already had been 
collected. The repayment of some of these loans, and the 
sale or redemption of a majority of the bonds which PWA 
had obtained as collateral for its loans, have brought $484,- 

6 7 



back into the Treasury. In selling these bonds, 
PWA, 2 in a great many cases, received bids far above par 
from the public. As a result, the Government has made a 
profit of almost $12,000,000 on bonds resold thus far the 
very same bonds that private investors previously had been 
unwilling to purchase. PWA considered this especially 
noteworthy in view of the fact that it had paid par for these 
bonds when similar issues were selling at "distress" prices. 

Naturally, PWA sold the best of the bonds in its portfolio. 
It feels, nevertheless, that a very great majority of the issues 
which it retained can be liquidated in full. It fully expected 
at the time the loans were made that some of the issues might 
be troublesome in the early stages, and that payments of 
principal and interest might be late. This expectation was 
based on the knowledge that it nearly always requires con- 
siderable time for a water or sewer system to establish its 
earning power. A community may find, for example, that 
several potential customers are slow in using the municipal 
services because they want to make their last payments on 
their automobile, or pay the dentist, before they install con- 
nections for the water system or sewer system or gas system. 
But in such cases, careful nursing of the loan through the 
organization period has been found helpful. 

PWA found only a few instances (involving borderline 
cases which received the benefit of the doubt) where the 
loans seem to be definitely beyond the capacity of the com- 
munity to repay. Out of the total of $704,930,097 of bonds 
purchased, only $675,788 of principal and $1,570,887 of 
interest were delinquent on March I, 1939. This involved 
only 325 issues out of nearly 2,900 purchased. The vast 
majority of these delinquencies can be corrected without 
serious difficulty. Comparing the volume of delinquencies 
with the total amount of bonds purchased by the PWA, the 
Government may expect in the end almost complete recovery 
of the funds loaned through PWA. Practically all borrowers 
have shown a serious regard for their obligations. 

2 Bond sales were for the most part made through the RFC. 

68 



MUNICIPAL CREDIT 

Soon after PWA began buying municipal bonds, municipal 
credit began to improve and interest rates began to decline 
sharply. Consequently, an increasing proportion of munici- 
palities found it possible to sell bonds more advantageously 
in the general market than to PWA, at PWA's rate of 4 per- 
cent. Communities turned less and less to PWA to obtain 
the loan portion of their project costs. In the first program 
initiated in 1933, local public bodies were able to provide 
through their own resources only 35 percent of the total 
cost of their public works. In the 1935 program, local funds 
increased to 45 percent of the total cost. In the current 
(1938) program the proportion reached 52 percent. 3 

The trend is even more pronounced than is indicated by 
the percentage figures, since PWA had in the meantime in- 
creased the amount of outright grant which correspondingly 
reduced the amount of money that had to be provided by the 
community. 

An important factor in this shift from Government to 
private financing has been the successful experience of PWA 
with certain types of municipal obligations, notably revenue 
bonds, previously regarded with much distrust by private 
capital. The fact that PWA developed acceptable stand- 
ards for these obligations, and clarified their validity and 
enforceability through legislation and court interpretation, 
has given them a more respectable standing in the financial 
markets. 

Is FEDERAL AID NEEDED? 

Since economic conditions have improved and private 
capital has participated more in the financing of public works, 
PWA has attempted to determine the desirability or necessity 
of continued activity on the part of the Federal Government 
in this field. The 6-year experience of PWA with all types 
of such projects suggests that even under favorable economic 
conditions, certain useful and urgent public works projects 
must continue to rely upon Government aid. 

3 See table 6 in the appendix. 

69 



Predominant among this group are the major stream pol- 
lution projects, involving the large scale construction of 
sewage disposal facilities. Government sponsorship and 
financial aid have been instrumental in attaining the coopera- 
tion of the various municipal units along a stream. Without 
such cooperation many of these ventures would have been 
unsuccessful. In several instances these projects involved 
conservation problems of national concern. PWA's part in 
cleaning up the Raritan River, by aid to a number of munici- 
palities (see ch. XII) is a case in point. 

Large scale public works projects of the income-producing 
classification, such as the Overseas Highway in Florida and 
the Triborough Bridge in New York (see ch. XVIII), which 
must be financed through revenue bonds, will most likely 
also continue to require Federal assistance. Private capital 
is traditionally reluctant to finance such projects because of 
the prolonged construction period, the chance for unforeseen 
developments to increase construction costs materially, and 
the uncertainty as to actual revenues. All these factors 
make such bonds speculative until the earning power of the 
facilities becomes well established. 

PWA's analysis of its financing has also shown that the 
need of future Government aid is by no means confined to the 
large scale public works. Many small communities today 
have water or sanitation facilities because a PWA grant re- 
duced the required bond issue to the point where the limited 
resources of such communities could repay the indebtedness. 
Then too, even the favorably considered general tax obliga- 
tions of many smaller communities in certain sections of the 
country enjoy only a local market. As a result the ability 
of such communities to arrange for private financing of public 
works is both limited and erratic. 

In considering the future need of Government aid in 
financing public works, it is well to remember that cycles of 
economic depression have inevitably introduced collapses of 
the municipal credit structure. This has disrupted private 
financing of public works. If it is essential to economic 
stability to maintain a balanced volume of public-works 



7 o 



construction with its collateral influences on employment 
and heavy industries, it then follows that the Government 
should be prepared to make available at such times a reservoir 
of credit to aid in the financing of all types of public-works 
projects. 









HEALTH BUILDING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA, SHOWING THE 

APPLICATION OF MODERN ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN. THIS STRUCTURE IS 

ONE OF 662 PWA COLLEGE PROJECTS 



AMERICA BUILDS 



Chapter VI 



Engineering 
Blueprints 




PUBLIC works of an enduring char- 
acter, and of lasting benefit must be 
carefully designed to meet the needs of each community 
efficiently and economically. A modern mail-order house 
performs a remarkable variety of services, but we have not 
arrived at the stage where a mayor can open the catalog, 
select a nice looking bridge, fill in the order blank, and have 
the postman deliver it in a neat package ready to use. Every 
bridge, every sewer system, every school, even the jails must 
be tailor-made, designed for the site and the needs of the 
community. This calls for engineering ability of a high 
caliber. Too often in the past it has been a matter of coinci- 
dence that municipal improvements turned out as expected. 



73 



But it is by no means mere coincidence that PWA projects 
measure up to the finest standards of construction. 

PWA from the beginning has insisted that public works 
projects be designed to meet the needs of communities 
intelligently, and has refused to take part in dissipating 
taxpayers' money through extravagance or improvidence in 
planning. In this effort, PWA has had the advantage of an 
expert engineering staff, made up of outstanding authorities 
in all the fields of construction. Among these have been 
officers of well-known engineering societies, outstanding archi- 
tects, men who have helped to build the Nation's railways, 
men who have built water systems for European and South 
American nations, men who were in charge of construction 
at the Panama Canal, others who have designed and con- 
structed outstanding buildings, and executives of great con- 
struction companies. They were drafted for service not only 
because of their knowledge in specialized fields of construc- 
tion, but also because they had the additional capacity to 
evaluate the social desirability of projects. They were able to 
determine whether a project proposed by a community could 
actually fill the purpose intended. That is still something 
that a slide rule cannot do. 

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE 

Thousands of our communities are intimately familiar 
with the schools, hospitals, city halls, roads and bridges, 
water and sewer systems constructed under PWA sponsor- 
ship. These projects affect the well-being of millions of our 
citizens, and are uniformly a source of civic satisfaction and 
pride. Very few citizens, however, have any idea of the 
painstaking role played by PWA in making these projects 
satisfactory to the communities. 

Suppose Any town needed a new school. For many years 
Anytown mothers left their children at the door of the rickety 
old school building in the morning, disturbed by obviously 
great possibilities of fire. Their misgivings became an increas- 
ing topic of discussion at the parent-teachers' meetings and 
various women's clubs, and the movement for a new school 

74 



building gained increasing momentum. Finally, the matter 
was made the subject of a local referendum. The town voted 
overwhelmingly for the project. 

At this point Anytown discovered that a new school build- 
ing would place a heavy strain on the community's limited 
finances. The town officials, therefore, applied to PWA for a 
grant to ease the burden. The PWA traveling engineer 
helped them to fill out a questionnaire which showed what 
Anytown wanted to build and how the local citizens proposed 
to finance this construction. The application contained a 
local architect's sketch of the proposed building. PWA, 
recognizing that each community has its own problems and 
its own ideas, left the matter of design, as usual, to the com- 
munity itself. While PWA would not dictate the choice 
of architect or engineer, it did show a reasonable prudence in 
assuring itself of the designer's ability to do a good job, 
especially since the Government was to pay 45 percent of his 
fee. 1 But in this case it was satisfied that the job would be 
done right. 

When this questionnaire reached the PWA regional office, 
it was subjected to the customary legal and financial scrutiny. 
The engineers then thoroughly analyzed the project for struc- 
tural or planning defects. They searched the application for 
answers to several questions: Is the school adequate for the 
population? Will it take care of future growth? Is it too 
big? Does it have ample space for playgrounds? Does it fill 
modern school requirements? Is the building safe? Can it 
be built for the money available ? In order to answer this last 
question, costs were broken down item by item and compared 
with similar buildings nearby. The engineer responsible for 
the determination of these questions was an expert on school 
buildings in the area, and before he was through with his 
analysis he knew fairly well just how the project would con- 
form with what the community had in mind. 

1 PWA has always insisted that competent engineers and architects be provided by local 
communities to take charge of their projects. It has realized the necessity for proper recom- 
pense for these important technical advisers and has provided that they may be paid reason- 
able fees for their work. Nearly 6,000 engineering and architectural firms and individuals 
have participated in the program. 



75 



The plans were then scrutinized to determine whether the 
standards of construction complied with the best and most 
modern practices. Before he was through the engineer might 
have called in other specialists for their advice on miscel- 
laneous technical details. A structural engineer might have 
been asked to go over the steel framework to see if it measured 
up to the best practice. A mechanical engineer might have 
made suggestions on the heating and ventilating system. 

By the time this engineering staff had studied the project 
item by item, consulted with the local architect, suggested 
changes, and finally given their approval, Anytown was 
assured of getting the most for its money. In this way, 
PWA engineers all over the Nation have helped to raise the 
standards of construction. 

FINANCIAL SAVINGS 

PWA's advice has saved many communities thousands of 
dollars. In years gone by, some communities, for example, 
plunged into the expense of constructing an elaborate water 
system only to find that no water was available to operate it. 
But PWA, except in rare instances, has not permitted its funds 
to be expended for the construction of water distribution 
systems until the availability of a sufficient supply of good 
water had been clearly established. 

In one case, an Alabama village had spent $4,000 to sink 
a well which in the end proved to be dry. It abandoned all 
hope of a modern water plant until a PWA engineer recom- 
mended turning to a forgotten spring supply that proved to 
be ample and perfectly good. On another occasion where 
expensive drilling was producing poor wells, PWA suggested 
using a river supply of water and cooperated with the town's 
engineer to replan the project. 

PWA has always helped to reduce health hazards. Before 
construction on a water supply project is approved, it must 
be satisfied that there are no health hazards in the source. 
Furthermore, it makes a careful check of all sewage disposal 
projects to see that no health hazard is removed from one 

76 



locality to become a menace in another. In areas where 
fluorides are found in water supplies, it has brought to the 
attention of the communities this danger to the health of 
children and has required wherever possible the substitution 
of another source of water supply. Many communities are 
forced to depend upon a water supply which has a high iron 
content. While this in itself is not a health hazard, the 
presence of iron in water causes damage to plumbing fixtures 
and textiles. In such cases, PWA has required that adequate 
treatment for removal of iron be constructed. 

In still other cases, PWA has enabled several towns to 
build a common sewage disposal plant, resulting in substan- 
tial savings to these communities. Carlstadt, East Ruther- 
ford, and Rutherford, N. J., each applied for a separate 
sewage disposal plant representing a total outlay of $931,000. 
PWA suggested a single combined plant. After several 
meetings at the PWA office, a joint plant was agreed upon 
costing $887,000, or a savings of $44,000. This plant, with 
its greater capacity, has been estimated to save over $14,000 
per year in operating costs. Many a community has bene- 
fited by such advice. 

BUILDING SPECIFICATIONS 

Once satisfied that a given project fits a community's 
needs, and an allotment of funds has been made for that 
project, PWA always has taken additional steps to protect 
the public's dollars. Even prior to construction shortly 
after a contract has been drawn up between the community 
and the Federal Government PWA examines carefully 
the detailed plans and specifications which give exact direc- 
tions as to how the project is to be built from the time the 
first shovelful of earth is turned up to the time the completed 
job is tested for use. 

PWA has found its precautions in that direction well 
rewarded. By correcting the wording of clauses liable to 
misinterpretation, it has prevented in many instances exces- 
sive costs to the taxpayers. Some of these were easy to 



77 



detect and correct such as that found in the specifications 
for the steel framework of a jail project. Tucked away 
among the stringers, plates, and girders, were provisions for 
four seven-passenger limousines at $5,000 per limousine. 

Not so easy to detect have been those specifications that 
prevent a reasonable number of contractors or manufacturers 
of material or equipment from bidding on a particular item. 
PWA has insisted on free and open bidding competition. 
This keeps prices to a reasonable level; and serves as the 
best and most equitable way of distributing Federal recovery 
funds to all units of the industrial system. 

PWA has approved specifications only after it has been 
given reason to believe that they would tend to give the com- 
munity what it wants in quantity and quality, and would 
permit all firms producing the type and quality of article 
desired to compete for the business. If, on the other hand, 
there happened to be clauses that would unduly restrict com- 
petition, or were not in line with the best construction prac- 
tice, PWA has returned the specifications for changes. 

CONTRACT BIDDING 

PWA has also observed the press advertisements for bids, 
and has always had representatives at the openings of bids. 
The case of a bridge project in New York State is rep- 
resentative. The sponsors advertised that sealed bids for 
a bridge would be received at a specified time at the city hall. 
After two weeks or so of careful estimating on the part of con- 
tractors the time came for all bids to be sealed and filed. 
The bids were opened in the presence of PWA and local offi- 
cials, together with representatives of material manufac- 
turers, who were on hand to sell everything from carpet tacks 
to zinc to the successful bidder. 

The X Co. was found to have offered to do the work for the 
lowest price. The PWA representative began to check up 
immediately to determine whether the lowest bidder was 
''qualified." He found that the X Co. had had extensive ex- 
perience in bridge construction, and in fact had just satis- 
factorily completed a PWA job on schedule in a nearby State. 

78 



He also noted that the company had submitted a bank state- 
ment showing that it was financially sound and able to finance 
the preliminary steps in the project, and had also submitted 
a certified check for 5 percent of the cost of the job as "earn- 
est" money. As the bid of the X Co. was below the estimated 
cost, there was plenty of money available to complete the 
bridge. Local officials thereupon with the concurrence of 
PWA awarded the X Co. the contract and ordered it to move 
in its equipment, place its material orders, hire its men and go 
to work. 

Before work began, however, the company filed a perform- 
ance bond as required by specifications. Such a bond guar- 
antees that any PWA job started will be completed satis- 
factorily. If the completed project fails to meet the re- 
quired tests, or lags behind schedule, the bonding company 
would have "to make good." PWA's requirement of the 
performance bond has protected millions of dollars of public 
money. PWA also requires every contractor to provide 
insurance for his workmen. 

PWA INSPECTION 

With the actual start of construction, a PWA resident 
engineer inspector is sent to help local officials, and to see that 
PWA's rules and regulations are followed. This resident 
engineer holds a unique position for he has no power over the 
contractor. The contract for a non-Federal project is always 
between the contractor and the local officials. All he actually 
does is observe developments and suggest necessary changes 
to the local officials, and also report to PWA. If he should 
determine that any of the work does not conform with speci- 
fications, PWA can withhold grant funds. The resident 
engineer must see that PWA's labor regulations are carried 
out. 

PWA has maintained representatives on all its projects. 
One resident engineer often can handle several projects, if 
these are located in one vicinity. On the other hand, large 
construction projects such as the Chicago subway or the Los 
Angeles schools require a project engineer with a staff of 



79 



specialists to patrol the various engineering features of the 
work. Reputable contractors welcome PWA representatives 
on their jobs, for the fact that PWA considers a contract a 
document to be followed explicitly at all times, not just when 
convenient, helps them to plan and carry out their work. 
Many of them have stated that PWA requirements are a 
guarantee of steady work for reputable contractors, since 
"chiselers" find it impossible to operate under this rigid 
supervision. 

DELAYS AND CHANGES 

PWA has never permitted unjustified delays in construc- 
tion and has endeavored always to impress upon communities 
the necessity for prompt completion of work. It requires 
that early in the prosecution of a project, a schedule be set 
up, timing the various operations to completion, and exer- 
cises close supervision throughout the succeeding stages of 
construction to see that this schedule is lived up to as far 
as possible. With very few exceptions, the communities 
and their engineers, architects, and contractors, have coop- 
erated to produce what is perhaps the fastest construction 
program of its magnitude in history. 

Since it is almost impossible to build a project without 
some necessary and unforseen changes, PWA maintains a 
degree of flexibility in its control to permit work to proceed 
without undue delay. For example, in the construction of 
a school building in Keyser, W. Va., it was found, after the 
contractor had opened up the excavation, that the character 
of the soil was different from that disclosed by the pre- 
liminary survey. Water from springs was encountered. In 
order to insure a stable structure, it was necessary to carry 
a portion of the foundation walls deeper, and install tile 
drains. The school board's architect presented a statement 
of facts, together with the cost data, to the resident engineer 
inspector, who reported upon the conditions to the regional 
director. Satisfactory arrangements were concluded which 
permitted the project to proceed. 

Across the Nation, similar problems come up every day, 



are dealt with, and construction goes on. In thousands of 
communities PWA engineers are now helping local officials 
with their troubles, keeping the job flowing along, keeping 
men at work. Almost every day, some projects reach com- 
pletion; the final grant check is paid; the contractors and 
the workmen go on to other jobs, the PWA engineer moves 
on to another project, the municipal bosom swells with pride 
over the new civic improvement 

SURVEY OF PWA STANDARDS 

What have been the results of PWA's supervision and 
assistance? Have the standards of construction been raised? 
If the standards have been raised, have the costs gone up? 
What do the communities throughout the Nation think 
about the results? 

The answers to these questions have long been the subject 
of conjecture. The President's Committee on Architectural 
Surveys has asked these questions of hundreds of com- 
munities, architects, and engineers throughout the country. 
Seven hundred and seventy-three local authorities, a repre- 
sentative cross section of communities throughout the Nation 
replied. Their replies to the questionnaires give the answers. 
The first question was: Do you consider that PWA regu- 
lations have resulted in higher standards of planning? The 
answers were as follows: 

Yes 512 70 percent 
No 197 30 percent 

Have they resulted in higher standards of design? 
Yes 436 65 percent 
No 231 35 percent 

Have they resulted in higher standards of construction? 
Yes 544 78 percent 
No 155 22 percent 

Of course, PWA could not have raised standards by an 
equal amount everywhere. Some communities have long 
had rigid standards of their own, and have built up staffs 
capable of enforcing them. PWA regulations have tended 
to bring other regions into line with the best. 



81 



Now it might be supposed that higher standards of plan- 
ning, design, and construction would bring higher total costs 
of construction. Always, of course, because of the PWA 
45 percent outright grant, the cost to the community would 
be less, but the question of total cost was unsolved. So the 
question was asked: Do you consider that the construction 
cost of your completed work was greater under PWA than 
it would have been without PWA ? The answers came back : 

Greater 369 54 percent 
Same or less 319 46 percent 

In those cases where the cost was said to be greater, the 
question was asked: Were costs greater due to PWA provi- 
sions for prevailing wages and other regulations pertaining to 
labor? The ratio of replies was: 

Yes 296 92 percent 
No 33 8 percent 

Thus, most of the extra cost was due to better wages. 
Other surveys have indicated that, where the costs were 
believed to be higher due to PWA regulations, the increase 
amounted to only i to 4 percent. 

Trying to find out how costs could be lower under PWA, 

the committee asked the question: Have there been better 

standards of competitive bidding? The answers showed: 

Yes 425 70 percent 

No 185 30 percent 

Another question revealed an interesting point in relation 
to cost. The communities were asked : Are your maintenance 
costs greater or less as a result of PWA ? The survey showed : 
Greater 58 18 percent 
Less 269 82 percent 

By the testimony of those who have built under PWA 
regulations, PWA has contributed materially and definitely 
to raising the standards of the construction industry through- 
out the Nation. This contribution has been made primarily 
by the PWA engineers which have guided the construction 
program, and by the PWA investigators whose vigilance has 
enforced the standards which have made the PWA sign the 
hallmark of quality in the construction field. 



AMERICA BUILDS 



Chapter VII 



Honest Dollars 




EVERY construction job has its 
quota of "sidewalk superintend- 
ents." To realize the number of voluntary critics which 
PWA has had, one must multiply by 34,500 projects, and 
then add in those who have gathered their notions about 
publics works from hearsay and newspaper reports. PWA 
has been operated in the open, where everyone could see, 
and has forestalled possibilities of error as much as possible. 
It has maintained an organization and policy that were as 
flexible as possible. Considering the vast number of legal, 
financial, and engineering problems, not to mention broad 
questions of public policy, the fact that it has satisfactorily 
completed 26,508 projects and has initiated almost 8,000 



more is a tribute to the American way of doing things. 

Whatever the criticism, no charges have ever been brought 
that PWA was unfair to labor, or that it has been negligent 
in its duty of safeguarding the public purse. In supervising 
the labor relations between thousands of private contracting 
firms and millions of workmen of every description and skill, 
PWA has been ever mindful of its duties to the workmen 
who have performed the jobs, to the contractors who have 
hired the men, and to the taxpayers who have paid for the 
projects. 

PWA's insistence on reasonable standards for workers and 
for open and honest conduct in the construction of its projects 
has not only resulted in a record unblemished by scandal but 
also in a far more stable construction industry. 

When the first spadeful of earth was turned on the first 
PWA project, the Nation was suffering from the greatest 
surplus of labor in its history. Labor, like any other com- 
modity, is subject to the law of supply and demand if it 
lacks cushioning controls. Whenever there is a surplus, 
whenever hordes of men walk the streets looking for work, 
the wages of labor tend to be driven down. And that de- 
pression of wages cuts deeply into the workers' purchasing 
power and lowers the national income. 

PROTECTION OF LABOR 

A democratic nation never could be a partner in any 
attempt to limit the economic freedom of working men or 
abet any efforts to drive their wages down. The Federal 
Government would have defeated the whole purpose of 
recovery by so doing. 

Congress forestalled any such possibility when it provided 
in the Recovery Act (NIRA) that "all employees shall be 
paid a just and reasonable wage * * * sufficient to 
provide living in decency and comfort." 

To carry out this mandate in the face of a disorganized 
and distressed labor market, created unforeseen problems. 
There were questions of where to recruit labor, preferences 
for local labor, and particularly what rates were to be estab- 

8 4 



lished. PWA made its start by creating a zone system of 
minimum hourly rates, recognizing that wages varied in 
different sections of the country. The Administrator estab- 
lished the following: 

Skilled Unskilled 

Zone labor labor 

Southern Ji.oo Jo. 40 

Central __ i.io .45 

Northern 1.20 .50 

These rates were not as rigid as they seemed. For example, 
PWA made allowances for different classes of workmen who 
could not be considered unskilled laborers. 

PWA made no pretense that these wage rates were perfect, 
especially in view of the fact that it had to deal with differ- 
ences between rural and urban labor, and local and nonlocal 
labor. Adjustments constantly had to be made, but the 
regulations served the purpose in the beginning of preventing 
undue advantage being taken of workers. As employment 
increased, and such controls were no longer necessary, PWA 
undertook in 1935 a policy of setting wage minimums in 
accordance with the rates prevailing in the locality where 
the work was undertaken. At present, the sponsors of the 
projects determine the rates for workers, and these provisions 
are embodied in the contracts which are let, thus permitting 
the bidder to know in advance just how much his labor 
costs will be. 

These requirements at first brought forth many protests. 
Many communities tried to set the prevailing rate at the 
lowest possible figure that any man in the community could 
be induced to work for. PWA could not agree to this, and 
requested that rates be the same as those paid for similar 
work in the locality. When this was determined, a few 
communities contended it would raise the cost of their 
public works excessively. Yet in scores of cases, the bids, 
with the higher labor rate, proved lower than originally 
estimated on a cheaper wage scale. 

The reason for this startling anomaly was easy to find. 
Contractors found that paying good wages brings good men, 
who do better work quicker, and therefore cost him less. 



SELECTION, HOURS AND DISPUTES 

In an effort to spread the benefits of construction jobs, 
the recovery act required that a maximum 3O-hour week be 
put into effect, insofar as practicable. But there were 
various difficulties in the way. While the 3O-hour week 
did spread work, it tended to raise the cost and to slow 
things down where lack of daylight made it impossible to 
operate two 6-hour shifts. And so, the policy was changed 
to a monthly limit of 130 hours, and then to the standard 
4O-hour week prevailing in the construction industry. Like- 
wise, early attempts to require an arbitrary proportion of 
relief labor created difficulties, especially in cases where 
contractors had collective bargaining agreements with labor 
unions. 

PWA's current rules in this regard are simple: A union 
contractor gets his men from the proper unions. Preference 
is given to those on relief. If the union cannot supply a 
man for the job within 48 hours, the contractor applies to 
the National Reemployment Service. A nonunion contrac- 
tor, on the other hand, applies directly to the National 
Reemployment Service, which sends him qualified men from 
its lists of unemployed or from those working on work relief 
projects. 

The whole question of labor rates and preference, as PWA 
anticipated, was difficult to handle, and still requires con- 
stant attention. Workers may demand one rate; owners 
may demand another. The opposing views may lead to a 
strike. While PWA is not involved in the strike, being 
interested only in seeing that its regulations pertaining to 
reasonable wages and working conditions are carried out, 
it is determined that the recovery program shall not lag. 
A strike not only means the two parties are at loggerheads, 
but also hundreds of other trades, and many jobs in manu- 
facturing industries supplying materials may slow down or 
stop. 

PWA handles its labor problems through a special assistant 
to the Administrator. Experts in each PWA regional office 



86 



check wage scales prepared by local officials. In 1938 these 
experts studied 5,452 wage rates, worked out changes with 
local officials in 2,375 projects. The results brought guaran- 
tees of increases of $22,512,724 in wages to labor. More 
than $i 2,000,000 was added to minimum wage guarantees in 
the South alone. At the same time, PWA's handling of dis- 
putes has steadily improved. 

THE "KICK-BACK" REGULATION 

Setting proper wage scales in advance is one task. Seeing 
to it that the right man gets paid the right wage is another. 

The resident engineer inspector keeps an eye on these men 
as they report for work, to be sure that those entitled to the 
work get the job. He also checks to see that they are paid 
according to the wage scale. In 999 cases out of a thousand, 
there is no trouble. But back when PWA was starting, men 
needed jobs so desperately that some dishonest contractors 
sold jobs to those men who would "kick back" the largest 
percentage of their earnings. A few dishonest contractors 
would pay the wage scale, certify boldly to PWA that this 
had been done, and the workmen would then be required to 
pay back as high as one-quarter of what they had earned, 
"or else - -." 

PWA was determined that such practices would never be 
allowed on its projects. The Administrator established a 
Division of Investigations, responsible only to himself, to see 
that anyone who preyed on labor or engaged in any other 
improper or dishonest practices would be punished. 

Manned by a crew of lawyers, engineers, and accountants, 
the Division of Investigations watches over proceedings in 
general. If a resident engineer suspects "dishonesty," if a 
complaint from anyone is received, PWA investigates. If 
criminal action can be charged, the Division of Investigations 
collects evidence and affidavits, and presents them to the 
Department of Justice and aids in prosecuting the case. In 
less than 6 years, the Division of Investigations has brought 
about the return of $644,000 "stolen" from workmen through 
"kick-backs." 



87 



Prompt and thorough investigations have reduced the 
number of cases in which workers have to pay levies to hold 
their jobs. But other ways of obtaining workers at less than 
stipulated wages occasionally make their appearance. On 
the Grand Coulee Dam in the State of Washington an investi- 
gation disclosed that the only workers receiving employment 
from one subcontractor were those possessing certificates 
from the National Reemployment Service and whose certifi- 
cates had certain holes punched in them. The investigators 
discovered that the distinguishing punches could be obtained 
by payments to certain employees of this subcontractor. 

CASES OF MISCLASSIFICATION 

Prompt investigations also have practically eliminated a 
dishonest device known as "misclassification." This is a 
simple process but sometimes exceptionally difficult to detect. 
It consists merely of hiring a worker at a low classification, 
such as "common laborer," or as "apprentice," and then 
having him do the work of a skilled craftsman who should 
receive a considerably higher wage. 

Failure of contractors and owners to maintain proper safety 
devices for workers has also been subject to investigation. 
On a Memphis, Tenn., sewer project workers were required to 
labor under high air pressure, similar to that maintained during 
the construction of tunnels under water. Workers taken too 
quickly from the high pressure to normal pressure are subject 
to a serious condition known as the "bends." Although the 
contractor on the sewer project had agreed to proper pre- 
cautions, 38 cases of the "bends," serious enough for hospitali- 
zation, were reported on the job in a single month. An in- 
vestigation showed that the contractor, in order to save 
money, had installed antiquated chambers in which the pres- 
sure was supposed to be lowered gradually, but which had 
leaks that destroyed their usefulness. New equipment was 
installed and no more cases of the "bends" were reported. 

OPEN, COMPETITIVE BIDDING 

Important as protecting the workers has been, PWA 
investigations have covered a far wider scope. They also 

88 



have protected contractors and officials. One reason that 
PWA projects have been worth every dollar of their cost has 
been the maintenance of the principle of open competitive 
bidding and the approval of contract awards only to the 
lowest responsible bidder. By ruling out favoritism in the 
award of contracts millions of dollars of Federal as well as 
local funds have been saved 

Regardless of PWA's strict rule against favoritism, efforts 
have been occasionally made to "throw" construction con- 
tracts to a particular bidder and more often to give a favored 
firm orders for materials or equipment. Sometimes such 
efforts are made by officeholders who want to pay a political 
debt; sometimes they are made out of mere friendship for a 
bidder; but probably most often because of a desire to see a 
local man get the job. But such favoritism, if allowed, would 
have resulted in higher prices, since few men will quote their 
lowest prices when they think they will get the job anyway. 

PWA has encountered all sorts of chicanery of the kind 
that honest contractors and this means by far the greater 
majority of them would have been unable to detect by 
themselves. In one midwestern city PWA had made an 
allotment for an auditorium. The building required a large 
amount of steel work and most of the contractors received 
quotations from a steel erection company covering the steel 
work involved. These estimates from the steel erection 
company were duly incorporated in every contractor's 
bid. A few hours before the bid opening all of the contrac- 
tors, with one exception, received telegrams from the steel 
company asking that previous quotations be disregarded and 
raising the price on steel work $14,500. Hurriedly, the 
contractors changed their bids to include the additional 
amount. When the bids were opened, it was apparent that 
all of the bidders except one, who was low, had raised prices 
314,500. PWA was a little suspicious and an investigation 
was ordered. It developed that the low bidder, not the steel 
company, had sent the telegrams to his competitors. As a 
result the bid opening was held over again and another 
contractor got the job. 

8 9 



INVESTIGATION OF "COLLUSION" 

Collusive bidding has been considerably more difficult to 
detect. In the case of the Brewster housing project in 
Detroit, six contractors, four of whom were from Detroit, 
submitted bids. Since the job was divided into four units, 
each contractor was permitted to bid on any or all of the 
four units. Each of the four Detroit contractors actually 
submitted bids on only two units. Where one of the con- 
tractors was low on one unit, he was high on the other. 
Only on one unit did an outside contractor submit a low 
bid. The trouble was that the low bids, divided among the 
local contractors and the outsider, totaled three-quarters of a 
million dollars more than PWA believed was a reasonable 
price. 

In the face of a campaign of ridicule waged by local news- 
papers which charged PWA with "governmental red tape," 
the contract awards were held up. An investigation showed 
that a number of local subcontractors' associations, in con- 
junction with labor unions, had operated under what they 
called "voluntary trade agreements" by which the unions 
could refuse to supply labor unless the subcontractors sub- 
mitted bids within 10 percent of the average. Outside 
contractors had been warned that they might expect trouble 
if they submitted bids. It was intimated that either no 
workers would be furnished, or if workers were furnished, 
they would "lie down on the job." Since the bids of the 
contractors were largely the totals of the bids of the sub- 
contractors, the prices were held at a high level. 

During the investigation, the local Building Trades Council 
published a letter saying that outside contractors would not 
be discriminated against. With this assurance, bids were 
taken again. This time one local and seven outside con- 
tractors bid. And the lowest offer was made by an outside 
contractor, whose bid was $800,000 less than the previous 
low bid. While no collusion was proven in this case, it serves 
to illustrate the necessity for, and the benefits of, PWA's 
alertness. 



9 o 



LOBBYING 

In the summer of 1938, with a large new program under 
way, PWA received inquiries from a number of California 
cities asking whether it was advisable to employ a certain 
man who had promised to see that their projects were allotted, 
provided he received a percentage of any allotments obtained 
from PWA. They were immediately advised not to employ 
the man and an investigation into his activities was instituted. 
It was found that he based his claims to "an inside track" 
with PWA on the fact that he had once been employed by 
the organization. The investigation resulted in recission of 
allotments for projects in several cities 1 which had employed 
him. 

Most of the investigations have involved no violation of 
criminal statutes but in the some 400 cases, the evidence has 
been turned over to the Department of Justice for prosecution. 

In still another way does PWA guard the public funds. 
This is through constant audits of project costs audits so 
carefully performed that the possibility of the misappropria- 
tion of funds or falsification of records has been reduced to 
an absolute minimum. 

Prior to PWA, because of widely fluctuating wage rates, 
and because honest contractors were at the mercy of those 
members of the industry with lower standards of business 
conduct, the construction was about as much of a gamble as 
it was a business. Today, with fewer variables, the industry 
has more businesslike methods, methods more and more 
applied in non-PWA as well as PWA construction. And the 
public is assured that in PWA projects it gets its money's 
worth. 



1 Allotments for projects in San Gabriel, South Laguna, Santa Monica, Upland, El Monte, 
San Marino, and Orange Counties were suspended pending investigation. All were later 
reinstated with the exception of two allotments for Orange County. 



Section Two 




HAT PWA has done to lay a firm basis for pre- 
planned public works has been in large part incidental to its 
task of administering an emergency program. Regardless of 
the inestimable contributions it has made toward reemploy- 
ment and business recovery, PWA's work is more likely, how- 
ever, to be judged by the nature and quality of the public 
works themselves. 

These additions to the national wealth have been con- 
structed both by the Federal Government and by State and 
local governments. 

The Federal Government, through 70 different agencies, 
has built or improved national facilities for conservation, 
recreation, transportation, military and naval defense, and 
administration of its business. 

The local governments, through partnership with the Na- 
tional Government, have undertaken an unlimited variety of 
public works to render more adequately the service which 
citizens expect. With the assistance of PWA funds, they 
have built or expanded or improved schools, colleges, univer- 
sities and libraries for better education; hospitals, sanitariums, 
clinics, and sewerage and water supply systems for better 
public health; roads, highways, bridges, subways, tunnels, 
harbors, wharves, and airports for better transportation; and 
city halls, courthouses, civic centers, jails, and hundreds of 
other projects for better public service. 

All these are end products of America's first large-scale 
public works program. 



93 




I 




If 111 




MASONRY WATER TOWER AT BARKSDALE FIELD, LOUISIANA, WHERE PWA 
FUNDS HAVE BEEN USED FOR EXTENSIVE ARMY HOUSING DEVELOPMENT 



AMERICA BUILDS 



Chapter VIII 



The Federal 
Programs 




PEOPLE today are prone to 
overlook the fact that the Fed- 
eral Government has been building public works since the 
founding of the Nation. It is the contemporary use of public 
works as a means of counterbalancing economic depressions 
and stabilizing business cycles that gives newness to the 
term. But insofar as building by the Federal Government is 
concerned, the new role is only "old wine in new bottles." 

Ever since the First Congress authorized the taking over of 
the lighthouses from the States, and a subsequent Congress 
provided the first public grant of land for a road, the Federal 
Government has steadfastly pursued a policy of promoting 



95 



and fostering, either through direct action or through grants 
of one sort or another, the construction of public works in the 
national interest. Navigation aids, military and naval equip- 
ment, public buildings, river and harbor improvements, and 
reclamation have accounted for a substantial portion of the 
annual Federal expenditures. 

Like practically everything else in our Government, public 
works evolved from a small start. The first appropriation for 
public works was $23,000 f or light stations and lighthouses. 
That was in 1791. Later, as the Atlantic seaboard developed, 
expenditures for defense and trade purposes during the early 
part of the nineteenth century reached into the millions. 
When the country beyond the Appalachians opened up, 
requiring the aid of the Government in the improvement of 
transportation facilities for internal commerce, further ex- 
penditures for public works were made. By 1837, the Federal 
construction budget was $4,226,000, and of this amount 
$1,362,000 was spent for river and harbor improvements. 

Public works, even in those early days, were advocated by 
the country's leaders as a means to increase the national 
wealth and further the interests of the individual citizens. 1 

As the country grew with surging tides of immigration and 
people looked toward the West for settlement, the Govern- 
ment sought to open up and develop more and more of the 
hinterland. It made grants of public lands for education, 
canals, highways, and railroads. 

The first day of the twentieth century found the United 
States with a population of almost 76 millions and 45 States 
admitted to the Union. In 1904, under Theodore Roosevelt, 
the construction of the Panama Canal was undertaken. The 
President had emphasized the need for reclaiming western 
lands, and in 1902 Congress passed the reclamation act. 
This marked the beginning of the Federal Government's 

1 See report of Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury, on Roads and Canals, April 
4, 1808, in which he stated: "Although some of those first improvements should not become 
immediately productive, and although the same liberal policy, which dictated the measure, 
would consider them less as objects of revenue to Government than of increased wealth and 
general convenience to the Nation, yet they would all sooner or later acquire as productive 
property, their par value." 

96 



sponsorship of reclamation by irrigation. The act created a 
revolving fund by setting aside and appropriating funds 
received from the sale and disposal of public lands in 16 
western States. 

GRANTS-IN-AID FOR HIGHWAYS 

A new policy of financing public works came in 1916 when 
the Government supplied funds for highways which would be 
owned and controlled by State governments upon completion. 
Although a highway is a local project, the sum total of roads 
make up major arteries for the Nation's commerce and for 
the national defense. In 1916 the truck and automobile 
were emerging as carriers of importance. It was necessary 
to create some unified system of national highways. And 
with this program the Federal Government, its available and 
useful public lands practically exhausted, set up the present 
system of cash grants-in-aid on a matching of funds basis. 

Through the I92o's the public demanded more Federal 
services. Scientific farming required experiment stations; 
commercial aviation required airways. Conservation and 
added leisure time called for new forests, parks to be added to 
the resources of the Nation. By 1 932 the expenditures for Fed- 
eral public works had risen to almost a half billion dollars. 2 

But this amount had no appreciable effect on the total of 
public construction because the States, cities, and other local 
governmental units abandoned nearly all new construction 
when the depression struck. In 1925, all public construc- 
tion amounted to $2,141,000,000, of which 9.6 percent was 
Federal. In 1933 Federal construction had more than 
doubled but the total of all public construction had dropped 
to $1,763,000,000. 

ADVANCE PLANNING 

In 1931, the advice of men who had long pleaded that the 
Government do something toward the scientific planning of 
permanent works over a period of years began to be heeded. 
Congress passed the Federal Employment Stabilization Act. 
This law provided for the advance planning and regulated 

2 The highest annual amount up to that time except for the World War years. 



97 



construction of public works by the Federal Government and 
for aiding in the prevention of unemployment during periods 
of depression. The stabilization board was also to encourage 
advance planning on the part of the States, cities, and other 
public and private agencies. 

The act proposed planning public works so as to assist in 
stabilizing employment through the proper timing of con- 
struction. For this purpose, each construction agency of the 
Federal Government was directed to prepare a 6-year advance 
plan, with estimates for each year. The board set about 
cooperating with the various agencies of the Government in col- 
lecting a program of construction to cover the ensuing 6 years. 

When PWA was created, the immediate problem was the 
distribution of funds to put men to work where jobs were 
most needed. So, naturally, the new agency turned to the 
stabilization board with its 6-year program, which, while the 
legislation was pending, revised and supplemented its lists. 

This planning enabled the PWA to begin the recovery 
movement with a minimum of delay. It made possible the 
letting of contracts on millions of dollars' worth of construc- 
tion promptly after the President signed the bill. In the 
meantime, the States, cities, and other local governments 
were preparing themselves for the non-Federal program. Al- 
together, PWA has allotted $1,768,668,097 for the construc- 
tion of 17,831 Federal projects to 70 Federal agencies. 

FEDERAL COOPERATION 

In the building of these projects, PWA made no attempt to 
take over the construction functions of the various agencies 
involved. Federal agencies were well-equipped to design 
and superintend their own work. PWA in cooperation with 
the Bureau of the Budget acted as a clearing house to see 
that the various programs were kept in step and that the 
individual projects comprising these programs were properly 
selected and coordinated. 

Allotments were made under the first program with the 
advice of a subcommittee of the special board for public 
works. The Bureau of the Budget cooperated in order to 

9 8 



keep allotments in line with budgetary policy and procedure. 

In selecting the projects, they were separated into cate- 
gories, placing in the preferential group those which were 
considered "highly desirable public works, not adding to 
future expense." 

The replacement of necessary facilities that were obsolete 
and would soon require replacement under normal procedure, 
and the reconditioning of existing facilities to put them in 
first-class condition, were considered to be desirable projects. 
The objective was to accomplish that which would have had 
to be done under normal conditions within the next few years, 
with the consequent result that necessary expenditures for 
such projects in future years by regular congressional appro- 
priations would be reduced. 

Projects were scrutinized to determine whether they would 
entail recurring expense for operation, maintenance, and in- 
creased personnel. Such projects which in the future would 
place an unjustified burden on taxpayers were eliminated. 

Since preferred projects might have fallen within a com- 
paratively small group of States in which the necessity for 
emergency employment was not so pressing, geographical 
distribution was considered. 

All applications were subjected to careful examination. 
The same standards were also applied in making allotments 
from the $400,000,000 appropriation contained in the Emer- 
gency Appropriation Act of 1935. 

Subsequent to the NIRA appropriations and the appropria- 
tions contained in the Emergency Appropriation Act of 1935, 
no funds were made available for the construction of Federal 
projects until the enactment of the Work Relief and Public 
Works Appropriation Act of 1938, which set aside $200,000,- 
ooo for useful Federal projects which would increase employ- 
ment. Here, advance planning, carried on by PWA, again 
made a list of projects readily available, and within 4 days 
after the act became law, allotments totaling $154,740,000 
were made. Within 60 days contracts were let, or Govern- 
ment forces put to work, on projects costing more than 
$152,000,000. 



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103 



FEDERAL AND NON-FEDERAL WORKS 

The Federal projects differed from the non-Federal prin- 
cipally in two respects: First, they were constructed by 
Federal agencies; and second, they were financed solely out 
of Federal funds. They differed not at all from the stand- 
point of social desirability. The projects did just as much 
to raise the standard of living and provide as much employ- 
ment per dollar, as local projects. Agricultural experiment 
stations which develop new and better farming methods have 
a wide influence, just as the building of roads by the Gov- 
ernment helps everyone. 

Because of the obvious desirability of roads, and because 
there was a long-standing comprehensive plan for improving 
our national highway system, the NIRA act itself made a 
statutory allocation of PWA funds to roads, 3 most of them 
built by the States and administered by the Bureau of Public 
Roads in accordance with past procedure. But additional 
allocations for roads were made directly to Federal agencies, 
like the National Park Service, which is building the 483- 
mile Blue Ridge Parkway stretching along the Appalachians 
from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Great 
Smoky National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina. 

This parkway is a good example of cooperation between 
various Federal and State agencies with PWA funds. The 
direct cost of the highway was paid by a PWA allotment to 

s See ch. XIV. 



TWO VIEWS OF THE ALL-AMERICAN CANAL BUILT BY THE BUREAU OF 
RECLAMATION TO INCREASE IRRIGATION IN THE IMPERIAL AND COACHELLA 
VALLEYS IN CALIFORNIA. THE CANAL CARRIES COLORADO RIVER WATER 
80 MILES ACROSS THE STATE. UPPER PHOTO SHOWS SECTION OF CANAL 
RUNNING THROUGH ARID LANDS WHERE IT IS CROSSED BY 4 BRIDGES AT 
ARAZ JUNCTION IN CALIFORNIA, 6 MILES WEST OF YUMA, ARIZ. THE BRIDGES 
ARE A DRAINAGE BRIDGE TO PROTECT THE CANAL FROM DAMAGE BY IN- 
FREQUENT BUT SEVERE STORMS; U. S. HIGHWAY NO. 80 BRIDGE AND BRIDGES 
OF THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD AND THE INTER-CALIFORNIA RAILROAD. 
LOWER PHOTO SHOWS A CLOSE-UP OF TWO OF THE BRIDGES PRIOR TO THE 
TIME WHEN WATER WAS TURNED INTO THE CANAL 



104 



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the State highway departments for connections, making the 
parkway and the parks accessible to the public. 

Many other Government agencies, with roads under their 
jurisdiction in bad shape due to lack of maintenance funds, 
turned to PWA for help. Recovery funds helped the Office 
of Indian Affairs, The Alaska Road Commission, the General 
Land Office, and the Forest Service to bring their road sys- 
tems up to date. 

In the same way, hundreds of other PWA Federal allot- 
the National Park Service. The Bureau of Public Roads 
ments have integrated the development of the widespread 
building activities of the Government. 

BUILDING CONSTRUCTION 

In 1933 many of the properties of the Federal Govern- 
ment were in poor shape. In a number of cities, post offices 
were in disrepair, Federal justice was being dispensed in 
buildings with sagging floors and leaky roofs, and in scattered 
courthouses along our far-flung borders, customs men in some 
instances had to work in poorly heated and equipped build- 
ings. Federal prisons failed to live up to the standards set 
by the Government's own penologists. There was a shortage 
of post offices, prisons, veterans' hospitals, and other facilities. 
In the San Francisco mint, a billion and a half dollars of the 
Nation's assets were insecurely stored behind ordinary 
wooden household doors. 

Taking as a criterion, whether the projects were necessary 
for the protection of life, to sustain the physical property of 
the Government, or to replace obsolete facilities, PWA 
recommended hundreds of building projects to the President 
for allotment. The result was 3,174 building construction 
projects costing $303,795,615. Post offices 4 are perhaps the 
most typical and most commonly used of these building 
projects, but a few other types of buildings financed with 
PWA funds are widely known. Among these is the United 
States Gold Depository at Fort Knox, Ky. 

4 Allotments of #43,607,8 14 were made for a total of 406 post offices. 



106 



The 3560,000 two-story basement and attic building is of 
granite, steel, and concrete based upon a lo-foot mat of 
concrete. Its exterior dimensions are 105 by 121 feet and 
the height is 42 feet above the first floor level. Within the 
building is a two-level steel and concrete vault, 40 by 60 feet, 
for the storing of gold. The vault door weighs more than 
20 tons. Roofs to the vault as well as the depository are 
bombproof. The structure was virtually completed in 1936, 
and the first gold was moved in by railroad in January 1937. 

NATIONAL DEFENSE 

National defense is a major function of the Federal Govern- 
ment and of course many PWA allotments were made for 
this purpose. There are new fighting ships like the U. S. S. 
Fincennes, aircraft carriers like the U. S. S. Enterprise, 
cruisers, destroyers, submarines, airplanes, and ordnance 
for the Navy. There are new barracks for the Army, new 
flying fields for the air arms of both services. One of the 
greatest of these projects is the expansion and development 
of Scott Field in Illinois to provide the new home for the 
GHQ air force, a more strategic location than the old head- 
quarters at Langley, Va. In order to provide accommoda- 
tions for the vastly expanded activities, a PWA allotment of 
^4,403,400 will provide new runways, aprons, night lighting, 

ONE OF THE HIGH SPEED WIND TUNNELS AT LANGLEY FIELD, VA. THIS 
TUNNEL IS USED BY THE NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON AERO- 
NAUTICS FOR TESTING LARGE SCALE MODELS AND FULL-SIZE AIRPLANE 
PARTS AT AIR SPEEDS FROM 85 TO MORE THAN 500 MILES PER HOUR. 
THE RESULTS OF THE TESTS MADE IN THIS TUNNEL ARE APPLIED TO THE 
DESIGN OF MODERN HIGH SPEED AIRPLANES 




hangars, warehouses, and gas and oil storage tanks for the 
field; officers' quarters, barracks, administration building, 
guard house and hospital, for the personnel; as well as 
numerous other buildings. The total for all these national 
defense projects amounted to $8 24,670, 870. 

Coupled with national defense and yet of great help to 
the aircraft industry and to air safety were the allotments 
made to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics 
for the three wind tunnels at Langley Field, Va. Making 
possible experiments on a scale hitherto impossible in this 
country, each of these tunnels serves a different purpose. 
One takes complete, moderate-sized airplanes. Another, 
probing into the performance of tomorrow's airplane, tests 
models in wind speeds up to $00 miles as hour. A third, 
looking still further ahead, develops speeds as high as 750 
miles an hour. These wind tunnels have already been of 
inestimable value to aviation both civil and military, and 
the research that has gone on has shown the need of even 
greater facilities along this line. 

The wind tunnels are just one example of the research 
activities made possible by PWA funds in depression years. 
In PWA-financed buildings, scientists of the Biological 
Survey of the Department of Agriculture, the Soil Conser- 
vation Service, and the Bureau of Mines, are exploring the 
frontiers of science with the latest technical facilities, work- 
ing for methods and products that will lead to a better use 
of our resources. Meanwhile, scientists of the Coast and 
Geodetic Survey aboard the survey ship Explorer, built with 
PWA funds, are searching and mapping the frontiers of the 
ocean. And PWA funds have provided for mapping of 
hitherto uncharted sections of our own country, indicating 
new resources in minerals, oil, and timber. 

HOUSING AND INDIANS 

In a totally different field, PWA explored a new frontier 
in public works in this country. The NIRA Act provided 
for a program of low-cost slum clearance housing. Local 
communities lacked facilities and authority to embark on 



108 



the program at once so the Administrator created the PWA 
Housing Division, which built 51 projects at a cost of $136,- 
669,759, providing low-rent homes for 70,000 to 80,000 
people. (See ch. XVI.) 5 

The Federal Government through PWA took care of its 
responsibility toward its Indian wards. The Government 
has a definite responsibility to provide for housing, education, 
health, administration, and conservation for the American 
Indian. PWA provided $7,017,143 for educational buildings, 
$4,577,758 for health, $1,685,117 for shelters and living 
quarters, $1,060,000 for a new capital for the Navajo tribes, 
and more than $4,000,000 for new roads and bridges. A 
great deal of conservation work was carried out by the Office 
of Indian Affairs. Neglected for long periods, Indian lands 
had suffered from deterioration through overgrazing; 
$11,284,560 provided for conservation projects for rehabilitat- 
ing this land. These projects on the reservations, like most 
throughout the West, provided for soil conservation, flood 
control, and irrigation. They will make for greater self- 
sufficiency on the part of the tribes. 

CONSERVATION OF RESOURCES 

PWA has enabled the Government to expand the work of 
conserving all our natural resources. The largest part of the 
work has been through flood control, water power, and 
reclamation projects, to which PWA has contributed more 
than $262,535,655, in addition to the work of building forest 
roads and trails to open timberlands, to fight fires, and for 
recreation. 

One of the primary purposes of these projects is the 
preservation of life and property from floods, in such projects 
as the Muskingum Valley undertaking in Ohio, where the 
building of 14 dams has given security and opportunities for 
better economic life to an area comprising a fifth of the State 
and in which live 675,000 people. 6 

5 PWA also made allotments to the Subsistence Homesteads Division of the Department 
of the Interior for construction of rural-urban self-help communities. This division was 
later transferred to Farm Security Administration, Department of Agriculture. 

e See ch. XVIII. 



Floods on the Mississippi River, like those on its tributaries, 
have brought disaster to the lower valley at frequent intervals. 
Crops, transportation facilities, homes, industrial plants, and 
other property have been destroyed. To help control the 
waters of the Mississippi River, the Mississippi River Com- 
mission was set up in 1879, and since that date, especially 
in recent years, much work has been carried on by the 
United States Army Corps of Engineers. PWA has provided 
funds to assist in the construction of dams and locks, levees, 
and other control work. 

THE ARID AND SEMIARID WEST 

While the eastern United States frequently has been hit 
by floods, vast areas in the West have remained just as 
dry as they were when the Forty-niners died of thirst on their 
long trek toward gold. Yet flying over the arid and semiarid 
West today the air passenger sees verdant regions amid the 
deserts. One of the largest of these gardens in the desert is 
the million acres of cantaloupes and lettuce, alfalfa, and small 
fruits watered by the All-American Canal. A PWA initial 
allotment of $9,000,000 began construction of 80 miles of 
main canal from the Colorado River to the Imperial Valley 
and the I3o-mile branch to the Coachella Valley. From 
these valleys for years to come fresh cargoes of fruits and 
vegetables are expected to be grown for the dinner tables of 
the Nation, crops that do not compete with established 
farming areas already in use but rather give Mrs. America 
new variety for her winter table. PWA has made allotments 
of $123,229,500 for 57 irrigation projects throughout the 
West. * 

But many of these irrigation projects, like the All-American 
Canal are not for irrigation only. The All-American Canal 
is a part of the huge Boulder Dam conservation development. 

From its discovery in 1540, until it was harnessed by 
Boulder Dam, four centuries later, the Colorado River was 
one of America's most dangerous streams. Like other 
western streams this giant fluctuated through a cycle from a 
roaring flood-swollen torrent when snows were melting, to 



I 10 



a sandy bottomed sluggish creek during the long dry sum- 
mers and autumns. 

Man's crying need for water caused him to turn early and 
calculatingly upon the Colorado. Farmers, tempted by dry 
fertile soil, in the Imperial Valley, tapped the river for irriga- 
tion water. But the river taking vengeance sent floods, 
created the Salton Sea. On the other hand in summer it 
frequently faded to a trickle. 

A great demand arose for the control and conservation of 
this river whose waters were the most valuable resource of a 
vast desert empire. Following a compact between the seven 
States affected, Congress passed the Boulder Canyon Appro- 
priation Act in 1930, for construction to begin the following 
year. Completion was to take 8 years. PWA entered the 
picture in 1934 with an allotment of $38,000,000 which speeded 
up the work and enabled the project to be completed over 2 
years ahead of schedule. 

MULTI-PURPOSE PROJECTS 

Many PWA Federal allotments enabled projects which 
were scheduled to take years to complete, to be speeded up 
so that the major stimulation of employment and orders to 
industry would come in depression years. In the case of 
Boulder Dam, not only did the revenues earned by this 
project begin to come in 2 years sooner, but the early com- 
pletion is estimated to have saved millions of dollars in 
property and perhaps many lives. In 1934, the Southwest 
suffered a severe drought. The levees which protected the 
rich lands adjoining the lower river cracked and weakened. 
In May 1935, the river began to rise in flood. With levees 
weakened, this foretold disaster on the lower reaches. 

But PWA funds pushing the work ahead of schedule, 
enabled the huge control gates to be closed in 1935, and 
Boulder Dam held back the water, releasing it as needed 
during the following months. 

Boulder Dam does many things in the field of water con- 
servation. It provides a steady and trustworthy water 



III 



supply for the Ail-American Canal, for the Imperial, Yuma, 
and other valleys. Through a 25o-mile aqueduct connected 
to a diversion dam lower downstream, it provides domestic 
water for Los Angeles, Long Beach, and 13 other cities. 
Floods that raged with destructive force against the com- 
munities far downstream are halted, and the water saved for 
use. Lake Meade, created by Boulder Dam, provides a 
new recreation area in a district formerly shunned. The 
lake assumes new importance as a haven for wild fowl and 
fish, where none existed before. And the lake provides 115 
miles of new navigable waterways above Boulder Dam, and 
improves navigation in the lower river. 

Each of the great multi-purpose conservation projects has 
a different major function. A PWA grant of $1, 125,000 
enabled the Bureau of Reclamation to build Caballo Dam, 
making the irrigation water stored by Elephant Butte Dam 
available for power. The Kanawha Dam built primarily 
for navigation provides flood control in West Virginia, and 
will ultimately be developed for power also. The Ogden, 
Utah, project is primarily designed to widen an area already 
under irrigation. 

As a rule, PWA has not financed new reclamation projects. 
In most cases, as in Ogden, the money has been used to aid 
lands already reclaimed but endangered by too scant water 
for the demands of a growing population. 

It is generally overlooked that most of these great under- 
takings are revenue projects. As soon as they are com- 
pleted, revenues from the sale of irrigation water, and from 
the sale of the irrigated land begin to flow in. The $38,500,- 
ooo cost of the Ail-American Canal will pay for itself over a 
period of 40 years. 

And much of the cost of these projects will be repaid by the 
sale of the great corollary product of water electric power. 
Boulder Dam itself will furnish 1,835,000 constant electric 
horsepower. From the sale of power, Boulder will repay its 
investment with interest. Millions of horsepower are being 
produced and sold at other projects. This means income 
for these projects and cheap power for the public. 



112 



ELECTRIC POWER EQUIPMENT AT NORTH PLATTE, NEBR., PART OF THE 
GREAT NEBRASKA POWER PROJECTS 



AMERICA BUILDS 



Chapter IX 



Electric Power 




SOMEONE presses a button and 
electricity makes the breakfast toast, 
lights streets and homes, turns factory wheels, pumps water 
to thirsty farm lands, and performs a myriad of other tasks. 
In a short space of years electric power has become an es- 
sential of everyday life, relied upon by industrial, domestic, 
and agricultural consumers. A cheap supply of power has 
become as indispensable to farm, factory, and home as a 
cheap supply of water, a factor to be reckoned with in the 
problem of making a living and in living itself. It is also one 
of the basic elements of national defense. 

Yet, full use of this willing servant long has been denied 
large areas of the country and large numbers of its citizens. 



Lack of adequate supplies of power or the unavailability of 
existing service has deprived many people of its benefits. 
Often where electrical energy was available in limited amounts 
the cost was prohibitive. But it can be plentiful, and it can 
be cheap. 

At Cascade Locks, Wash., for $i a month a housewife can 
obtain 40 kilowatt-hours of electricity, enough to light an 
average home, and operate a radio, a toaster, a vacuum 
cleaner, washing machine, and iron. 

For $2.25 a month, she can obtain 100 kilowatt-hours, or 
enough to provide for electric refrigeration also. For a total 
of $4.75, she can add the convenience of an electric stove, and 
another $1.50 will bring her these conveniences, and in 
addition a plentiful supply of hot water. 

If she uses as much as $00 kilowatt-hours of electricity a 
month, this Cascade Locks housewife would pay an average 
rate of i% cents for each kilowatt-hour. 

Living in Cascade Locks, she gets her electricity from a 
municipal distribution system which, in turn, buys power at 
wholesale from the great Bonneville Dam nearby. 

Under the rates charged at Cascade Locks before Bonne- 
ville power became available the housewife paid $2.80 for the 
same amount of electricity which now costs her $i. And she 
paid $11. 60 a month instead of 36. 75 for 500 kilowatt-hours, 
and similarly higher amounts beyond. 

Cascade Locks was the first community to buy power from 
Bonneville Dam, built across the Columbia River at a cost 
of $75,000,000, of which PWA furnished $42,950,000. Now 
Bonneville's well-known "objective rate" is available to 
thousands of other customers of municipally owned power 
systems and cooperatives serving rural areas of the Pacific 
Northwest. 

Bonneville is providing abundant and cheap power. And 
at the same time it, and similar developments financed in 
part by PWA, have effected other far-reaching benefits. 
Bonneville, for example, extended an inland seaway 188 
miles from the Pacific to bring low-cost transportation to a 
wide territory. 



16 



BONNEVILLE DAM (LOWER PHOTO) AND GRAND COULEE DAM (UPPER PHOTO), 
GIGANTIC PROJECTS ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER IN WASHINGTON AND OREGON, 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION. THESE PROJECTS, WHEN FULLY COMPLETED, WILL 
PROVIDE CHEAP ELECTRIC POWER AND IRRIGATION IN THE COLUMBIA BASIN 
AREA IN THE NORTHWEST, AS WELL AS PERMIT NAVIGATION ON THE RIVER 





BoNNEVILLE AND GRAND COULEE 

Bonneville and Grand Coulee which has been called "the 
biggest thing on earth," will make cheap power available 
throughout the Northwest. PWA furnished the initial 
funds, $14,000,000, which started construction of Grand 
Coulee, located approximately 235 miles northeast from 
Bonneville on the Columbia River. Both projects are invest- 
ments, eventually self-liquidating. Bonneville is scheduled 
to pay off in 40 years with interest at 3% percent all that por- 
tion of its cost allocated to power production. 

While providing power, Grand Coulee will store enough 
water to irrigate 1,200,000 acres of rich desert and farming 
land. And on those irrigated acres, homes will be provided 
for between 25,000 and 40,000 families, with as many more 
in towns located in the area. These two major steps in the 
Columbia Basin development should bring rich returns in 
the way of increased production of profitable crops, added 
land values, cheap, energy-saving power for every need, and 
low-cost transportation to the markets of the world. 

These, then, are multiple-purpose projects, serving more 
than one function in the public interest. In the past, dams 
were frequently designed for a single purpose. A power 
dam, for example, was a power dam and nothing more. Now 
it is recognized that a dam may be so planned as to have many 
uses. 

All in all, in providing $253,016,000 for use by the Bureau 
of Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers, PWA 
has made possible the building of dams which will reduce 
floods, provide irrigation for desert acres, create a source of 
water supply for cities, make possible many miles of safe 
waterways, and provide vast new recreational areas, while 
bringing the benefits of low-cost power to millions of people. 

These Federal projects (although several of them are not 
yet complete) already have an installed hydroelectric capacity 
of 3,852,500 kilowatts enough to supply electricity to 
10,000,000 additional average residential consumers. 

The output of these plants, in some instances, is being sold 



118 



to consumers in whole or in part through private companies. 
Bonneville power is sold at the same wholesale rate to munici- 
palities and private companies. Power produced by the 
waters of the Colorado at Boulder Dam reaches the consumer 
through both public and private channels. 

NON-FEDERAL HYDRO PROJECTS 

Works on the lower Colorado River, in Texas, reduce floods 
as well as produce power. For years that river, one of the 
Nation's most temperamental streams, had subjected the 
area to its periodic rampages. Ordinarily the lower Colo- 
rado flows, mild and harmless as a meadow brook, past 
Austin and through the plains below. Then suddenly it 
rises, striking at crops and settlements, doing an estimated 
annual property damage of $4,000,000. Between floods, 
the river is often too low. Droughts as well as floods have 
taken their toll from the people who live along its banks. 
Although there are about 600,000 acres in the valley suitable 
for rice culture, water for less than one-tenth of that area 
has been available. The Colorado River of Texas has also 
been a poor source of drinking water for the communities 
through which it flows. The problem on this river, as on 
many others, is to conserve wasteful flood waters and make 
them available when and where they are needed. To tame 
this river and to conserve its waters, the Texas Legislature 
created the Lower Colorado River Authority to construct a 
series of dams which will reduce the floods and which will pay 
for themselves by the production of power, and the sale of 
water for irrigation. To aid in the construction of these 
dams and for transmission lines to carry power at low cost to 
more than a score of cities and rural cooperatives, PWA 
made allotments totaling $33,600,000. 

In Oklahoma, $20,000,000 was allotted for Grand River 
Dam which was designed to provide both flood reduction and 
power. In South Carolina $34,300,000 was allotted for Santee 
Cooper project, to provide both an abundance of cheap power 
and a navigable waterway from Columbia to the sea. As the 
Colorado River water flows along the All-American Canal 



irrigating the Imperial Valley in Southern California, it also 
produces electrical energy to run machines and to conserve 
human energy. 

In Nebraska, PWA-financed construction has made possi- 
ble the production of power for widespread urban and rural 
uses, while conserving flood waters of the Platte and Loup 
Rivers for thousands of acres of rich farm lands, and reducing 
floods. PWA made loans of $3 8, 900,000 and grants of 
3^4,174,000 for works in Nebraska's three big public power 
and irrigation districts and in two districts selling power and 
using water for irrigation. 

Altogether 32 non-Federal hydroelectric projects, 1 many of 
them including flood reduction features and provisions for 
irrigation and municipal water supply have been financed with 
PWA assistance. These have a total installed capacity of 
536,242 kilowatts enough to serve more than a million 
American homes. 



1 See table 7 in appendix for list of Federal and non-Federal conservation projects which 
include hydroelectric features. Also see map preceding. 




PUBLICLY OWNED POWER STATION IN NEW JERSEY, WHICH HAS UNDERGONE 
EXTENSIVE REMODELING AND IMPROVEMENT WITH PWA ASSISTANCE 



I 2O 



STEAM AND DIESEL PLANTS 

Where hydrodevelopment was neither possible nor feasible, 
many communities wanting cheap electric power for their 
citizens sought to build steam or Diesel plants. High rates 
charged by some privately owned power companies frequently 
was the reason advanced for seeking PWA assistance in 
building municipal power facilities. These communities had 
found that cheap power is a basic factor in their growth and 
well-being. PWA considered these applications on the same 
basis as those for any other type of permanent and useful 
project. Objections were registered and various propaganda 
campaigns were launched by utility interests to force PWA to 
discriminate against public power project applications, but 
the agency refused to discriminate. PWA allotted $22, 871,- 
864 for the construction and improvement of 212 steam and 
Diesel plants. Allotments also were made for 33 gas plants 
and gas-system additions, both for natural and manufactured 
gas. These cost $3,401,296. 

Culpeper, Va., which in 1934 completed the first mu- 
nicipal electric facility to be built with PWA funds, pro- 
vides an example of PWA's assistance in the non-Federal 
power field. With fewer than 2,500 residents, that city in- 
creased revenues from power 6 percent although rates were 
reduced during the period. In 1937 the city made more than 
324,000 over and above operating and investment retirement 
expense, with rates which were about 10 percent lower than 
those charged by a private utility before the municipal plant 
went into operation. 

In Hoisington, Kans., although the municipal plant went 
into operation in August of 1938, an addition was under way 
less than 6 months later because the number of customers had 
increased from 750 to 1,050. Estimated billings for the 
plant's first year of operation were $55,000, sufficient to pay 
expenses and retire outstanding indebtedness in a little more 
than 5 years. 

Danville, Va., which has owned its electric system longer 
than any community in the United States, completed a 



121 



PWA project designed to bring its system up to date. 
Power produced by two dams on the Dan River is brought to 
the city by a high tension transmission line. 

ELECTRIC DISTRIBUTION 

In areas where large hydroplants have been constructed, 
many communities have sought to handle the distribution of 
power by themselves, either by buying existing facilities 
owned by private utilities or by constructing their own lines. 
Numerous applications for allotments for the construction of 
distribution systems in areas near large power developments 
have been received by PWA. 

In the TVA area, especially in Tennessee, Mississippi, and 
Alabama, communities sought funds to enable them to use 
the power generated at the TVA dams. The city of Memphis 
started constructing, as a PWA project, the largst distribu- 
tion system ever built at one time, to serve its quarter of a 
million residents. First, however, it tried to persuade the 
local power company to sell the existing facilities. It was 
not until construction was well along that the company 
agreed to sell. This made it unnecessary for the city to 
build a complete distribution system, and allowed it to ex- 
tend and improve its facilities to serve the greatly increased 
load resulting from lower rates. 

In the lower Colorado River area so many cities voted to 
install their own distribution systems to use power generated 
by the Authority that the private company decided to sell 
all its properties in 16 counties to the Authority. This com- 
pany, too, desires to purchase a portion of the Authority's 
power for sale in other sections. 

The interest of communities in public power systems is, of 
course, not confined to the areas where public projects are 
making available a supply of cheap wholesale power. A 
great many cities owning or building their own power plants 
have sought PWA aid for financing new distribution systems 
or improving existing ones. Since 1933, some 750 applica- 
tions for funds have been received from cities wishing to 
build distribution systems which would compete with existing 



122 



systems privately owned. Of these, 80 received allotments. 
Municipalities have received, all together, a total of $205,- 
075,300 in loans and grants from PWA for the construction 
of new plants or improvements to their own power plants, 
transmission and distribution systems, and facilities of all 
types. The total estimated cost of all these 340 non-Federal 
projects amounts to $263,ooo,ooo. 2 

PWA POWER POLICY 

Despite the fact that State laws allow cities and other 
agencies of the State to issue bonds and construct public 
works of a competitive nature, and although in the case of 
the Alabama Power Company vs. Ickes, et al. 3 the courts 
cleared the way for PWA allotments to such competitive proj- 
ects, PWA has made every effort to prevent a wasteful dupli- 
cation of facilities for which the consumer, in the end, would 
have to pay. 

Under current policy, a city wishing to build its own elec- 
tric distribution system with the help of PWA funds, must 
first make a fair and reasonable offer to purchase the exist- 
ing competing facilities. Only if this offer is not accepted by 
the private utility will PWA make funds available to the 
city. As a result of this policy, during 1938 and to date, a 
number of cities arranged to purchase privately owned sys- 
tems valued at more than 25 million dollars, exclusive of the 
recent negotiations concluded between the Commonwealth 
& Southern Corporation and the Tennessee Valley Authority. 

Municipalities borrowing PWA funds must charge rates 
high enough to liquidate bonds and maintain their facilities. 
As a rule they charge to their power plants a sum equivalent 
to the taxes which would ordinarily be paid by a well-run, 
properly capitalized, private utility. Nevertheless, many 
communities have found their electric power operations to 
be a means of preserving the standard of living through lower 
rates to the consumers. Moreover, lower rates are creating 

2 See table 8 in the appendix. These totals do not include 33 gas projects costing $3,401,- 
296, for which PWA made loans totaling $1,227,000 and grants totaling $1,141,670. 
* See Ch. IV. 



123 



new demands for appliances, carrying domestic consumption 
of electric energy to new highs. 

Holland, Mich., which is now increasing its power plant 
capacity with a PWA allotment, has been operating its 
municipal electric system for some 30 years. It charges low 
rates for the power produced and furnishes a good example of 
how domestic electric energy demand may grow. The aver- 
age kilowatt-hour consumption per residential customer rose, 
under the influence of lowered rates, from 896 in 1934 to 
1,325 in 1937. The consumption of the average industrial 
customer rose in the same period from 15,550 kilowatt-hours 
to 28,600. Because it cost less, customers used more and 
the over-all average revenue per customer including indus- 
trial and municipal uses went up from $47. 60 in 1934 to 
$63.30 in 1937 while the average rate per kilowatt-hour 
dropped from 3.1 to 2.7 cents. In Holland, as in hundreds of 
other communities, low rates are making electricity more 
widely used than ever before. 

The Nation's electric power resources have grown steadily 
both through private and public enterprises. But the end 
the saturation point -is far in the distance. There are still 
millions of rural homes without an available source of elec- 
tricity. There are new industries still forming and estab- 
lished industries are moving to regions where cheap electric 
power is available. 

While public power projects have created a great deal of 
controversy, it must be remembered that PWA's attitude 
toward such projects has not differed from its policy with 
regard to all other types of projects. PWA has always con- 
sidered the need and social desirability of these projects and 
applied to them the same criteria as it has toward other 
classes of public construction. They were studied from the 
standpoint of legal, engineering, and financial soundness, 
and in total they comprised a small percentage of all PWA 
projects, as contrasted with allotments for public health and 
particularly educational facilities. 



124 






iff! 





BUILT TO WITHSTAND EARTHQUAKES, THIS MODERN SCHOOL IN SOUTHERN 
CALIFORNIA IS ONE OF HUNDREDS BUILT OR IMPROVED IN THE LOS 

ANGELES AREA 



AMERICA BUILDS 



Chapter X 



For Better 
Education 




WHEN the public-school bells 
ring, 30 million youthful Ameri- 
cans respond. This army of young people more than one- 
fifth of the Nation receive their education in structures 
ranging from little, antiquated one-room schoolhouses to 
huge, complex buildings containing auditoriums, gymnasiums, 
laboratories, shops, and cafeterias as well as classrooms. 

A few years ago America faced an acute shortage of school 
facilities. Since two out of every five schools in the country 
had been built before the turn of the century, a large number 
of the buildings were obsolescent. Many of these were unsafe, 
unsanitary, and dangerously susceptible to fire. Others, in 
addition, failed to provide for recreation, vocational education, 



127 



and other needs of the modern curriculum. Moreover, 
many buildings were overcrowded because enrollment had 
increased by leaps and bounds during the preceding decades, 
particularly in the high schools, where the number of students 
rose by 178 percent in the span of a generation. 

PWA has aided materially in efforts to overcome this acute 
shortage of adequate school facilities. Since 1933 PWA has 
made allotments for 7,282 educational building projects 
costing $i, 1 6 1, 1 1 8,000. 1 These comprised over 40 percent 
of all the non-Federal projects for which PWA made allot- 
ments, indicating to some extent what the communities of 
the Nation have considered to be their prime need in the 
matter of public works. 

Communities in every State of the Union, and in the 
Territories and possessions, participated in this program of 
educational building construction. The total number of 
projects in some States reached into the hundreds, while in 
no State were there fewer than a score. All in all, PWA 
accounted for more than 70 percent of all school construction 
carried on since 1933, adding about 60,000 classrooms with 
seats for approximately 2,500,000 pupils. 

In general, PWA allotments for school construction have 
served four main purposes: (i) To provide new facilities to 
meet the needs of shifting populations and growing enroll- 
ments; (2) to replace unsafe and obsolete small buildings 
with modern, consolidated schools; (3) to provide new struc- 
tures with modern equipment to replace obsolete and over- 
crowded buildings without proper heating, ventilation, 
lighting, or sanitation; and (4) to provide needed additions 
and improvements to existing buildings. 

NEW SCHOOLS BUILT 

Largely due to the Federal Government's willingness to 
share the cost of local public works in order to put men to 
work, a number of communities which had no school facili- 

1 The sponsors of these school projects contributed 3588,068,908 of the total cost and 
PWA the balance of #573,048,936, o f which 93,789,369 represents interest-bearing loans 
repayable to the Government. 



128 



A MODERN SCHOOL 



V-rt 




ties whatever for large groups of their children, undertook 
to build schools. 

Tucked away up in northern Vermont, plumb against the 
Canadian border, sprawling across half a dozen islands and 
peninsulas of Lake Champlain is the town of Alburg in 
Grand Isle County. It is a hard country, but farming (and 
frog catching), milking the cows, and work in the railroad 
yards supports Alburg's 1,600 people and the 4,000 in the 
county. 

With the tradition of free education for all, the Vermonters 
of Alburg have provided primary schools for generations. 
But the rocky Vermont soil (plus the water barriers of the 
lake) made a high school too much of a financial burden for 
them to start. 

Parents who wanted their children to get the advantages of 
a high-school education were faced with two discouraging 
alternatives. They could bundle the youngsters up long be- 
fore the cold winter dawn, take them to the railroad yards 
and put them aboard a train to be taken across the lake to 
Rouse's Point in New York State where there was a high 
school. The returning train brought the children home after 
8 o'clock at night. A 1 2-hour day for education! 



129 



The second alternative was to let the children walk the 
railroad trestle across Lake Champlain. In blustery winter 
weather, this was no pleasant adventure. 

After years of discussion, the community leaders got to- 
gether and found a solution. With the aid of a PWA grant of 
$28,000 they were able to build a $63,ooo high school. It is 
not a large or ornate building, but it is the first high school in 
Grand Isle County. 

Alburg is not an isolated example. At the other end of 
the country, in Palm Springs, Calif., a new PWA high school 
was constructed to save the children a daily bus trip of 50 
miles to the nearest school in Banning. 

There are many other instances of PWA aid in bringing 
schools where none existed before, but far more typical is the 
work done to bring modern, consolidated schools in place of 
one-room structures. 

CONSOLIDATED SCHOOLS 

The little red schoolhouse, like McGuffey's Reader, is the 
product of a bygone era. Yet, while the reader has disap- 
peared, except as a collector's item, the little red schoolhouse 
is present in many localities. There are 142,000 of them out 
of a total of approximately 246,000 schools. In these little 
structures, a single teacher most often teaches children of all 
ages and all grades, and these children must prepare them- 
selves under such handicaps for the future. Despite the ap- 
pearance of economy, educators point out, the little one-room 
schools are expensive anachronisms, for it may cost less to 
do a better job in a centralized modern school. 

Lyme, Conn., was one of the first communities to seek PWA 
assistance in bringing its school facilities up to current times. 
Lyme is an old town. In 1789, at the time a little band of 
revolutionaries under George Washington had succeeded in 
setting up a new Nation, Lyme built a one-room schoolhouse. 
The town added four more one-room structures by 1847. 
That completed the school program. They were good schools 
by the standards of those times. However, they lacked 



130 



toilets, ventilation, and proper lighting. Heat was provided 
by cast-iron stoves. 

As the years passed, Lyme changed from an agricultural- 
fishing village to a unit in New England's industrial set-up 
a stop on the Boston Post Road, over which rumbles the 
major traffic from New York to the Northeast. 

Long before 1933, everyone was ready to admit that Lyme 
had gotten its money's worth out of its century-old schools. 
Something better was needed for the children. But it was 
not until PWA was set up that the school districts could get 
together with hope of a new building. An application to 
PWA brought them an outright grant of 38, 400 for a $32,732 
modern school plant. They built themselves a trim one- 
story field stone and concrete structure with four classrooms, 
an auditorium, and domestic-science and manual-training 
facilities. The building, adapted to local architectural style, 
accommodates 160 pupils, a few more than the five one-room 
buildings it replaced. 

Lyme offers a typical example of what PWA has been 
doing to help in the movement toward consolidation. In a 
number of instances, PWA has cooperated with State educa- 
tion authorities and planning boards, as well, toward this end. 
In Virginia, for example, progressive educators have urged 
consolidation for a good many years, and in this they were 
encouraged by the State planning board. Applications 
received by PWA from individual school districts were 
referred to the State department of education and the plan- 
ning board, and as a result consolidations were effected. In 
Charlotte County, a new modern school replaced six existing 
schoolhouses. 

By providing assistance for the construction of 791 con- 
solidated schools throughout the Nation, PWA eliminated 
1,582 obsolete structures. But PWA assistance, in actual 
operation, consisted of more than loans and grants of money. 
Legal experts helped to simplify the process of forming new 
school districts and financial experts helped develop new 
methods of borrowing funds and marketing bonds. More- 
over, the movement has been given impetus by the construe- 



tion of new and improved PWA-financed roads and highways 
on which school buses 2 can travel. 

The types of schools needed most vary as shifts in popula- 
tion and age groups take place, and new methods of education 
develop. America has a declining birth rate, and the ele- 
mentary-school population has been decreasing for several 
years. But more parents want their children to have the 
advantages of a high-school education. High-school popu- 
lation has more than doubled since 1920, and is till growing 
at the rate of 300,000 pupils a year. Moreover, the tendency 
toward urbanization has added to the problem of overcrowded 
schools. 

When PWA arrived on the scene, there were 2,700,000 
pupils going to school in temporary shelters. Hundreds of 
thousands of others were attending on the platoon system, 
one set arriving very early in the morning and rushing 
through their lessons by noontime to make way for a later 
shift. In some extreme cases two and three pupils had to 
share a single desk. 

MODERNIZATION 

To overcome this deficiency and also to provide facilities 
for modern education, such as laboratories, shops, and audi- 
toriums, communities participating with PWA in the public 
works program not only built new schools, but also built 
additions and made improvements to existing structures. 

It has been estimated that PWA projects have added to 
the educational plant of the Nation 4,300 auditoriums, 3,500 
gymnasiums, 1,800 libraries, 1,350 shops, 890 cafeterias, and 
approximately 12,000 other units including laboratories, 
study halls, and science and commercial classrooms. 

Wherever existing buildings could be utilized, and thereby 
save expense, PWA projects provided merely for improve- 
ments. In Philadelphia, Pa., for example, the board of 
public education received a PWA allotment for alterations 

2 PWA also made various allotments for school buses. In Beckham County, Okla., for 
example, an allotment was made for the purchase of 3 buses to pick up the farmers' children 
and carry them to a well-equipped school. The State of North Carolina received a grant 
of #197,000 to provide more than 750 buses (costing #655,000) for the school children. 



132 




A NEW CONSOLIDATED SCHOOL IN GLOUCESTER, R. I., WHICH HAS 
REPLACED FIVE ONE-ROOM SCHOOLS AS SHOWN IN THE INSET 

and additions necessary for installation of modern lighting 
equipment in 175 of the city's schools. 

School officials generally have felt that in order to provide 
reeducation for adults, and training for young people between 
the ages of 18 and 21 who are neither at college nor at work, 
as well as for young persons who will have to make a living 
in business and industry, schools should contain facilities for 
technical training. Typewriting, bricklaying, farming, engi- 
neering, and machine operations cannot be learned from 
books. Special facilities are needed. Therefore, such facili- 
ties have been quite common among PWA projects. 

Perhaps one of the best illustrations of specialized facilities 
is in the Industrial High School at Columbus, Ga. All day 
long this two-story building is jam-packed with youngsters 
and oldsters learning the textile trades. There are picking 
rooms, spinning rooms, weaving rooms, dyeing rooms, 
electrical shops, auto shops, manual-training shops, domestic- 
science rooms, in fact all the facilities that young men and 
women need to fit themselves for a place in local industry. 
This building was designed for the needs of Columbus, 



133 



which is a textile town. In many other cities, industrial 
schools specialize in crafts utilized in the particular com- 
munity, or provide general vocational training. Also in 
hundreds of general high schools built with PWA funds there 
are shops provided on a smaller scale for those students who 
desire a specialized type of training. 3 

There is an interesting result of this new equipment and 
better physical facilities for education. A school in Genesee 
County, N. Y., built over 55 years ago, was staggering under 
a load of 180 pupils. The PWA application called for a new 
building to accommodate 300. Embodying agricultural 
shops, laboratories, and industrial training, the new school 
was completed in December 1936. When it opened its doors 
for the next school term 300 pupils enrolled. New educa- 
tional facilities had persuaded many students to go on with 
their education. In addition several neighboring communi- 
ties subsequently closed their schools and sent the children 
to the new school, bringing the total enrollment close to 400, 
again creating an overcrowded condition. Centralization of 
school districts was carried out in the area, and the consoli- 
dated school district undertook with PWA aid to build two 
additions to the new school building to take care of an ex- 
pected enrollment of 6oo. 4 

The demand for more and better education continues 
beyond the elementary and high schools into colleges and 
universities. As a result, many cities have improved their 
facilities for higher education, and the young men and women 
seeking a better place in life have turned in increasing num- 
bers to the new opportunities. In Brooklyn, PWA helped 
build a complete new college costing $5,900,000. It was 
dedicated by President Roosevelt, and shortly after the 
ceremonies, 11,000 students were using it. 

8 PWA has also allotted funds for handicapped children in many cities. For example, 
a grant of $98,214 enabled Indianapolis to build the $218,000 James E. Roberts school for 
crippled children. This two-story building has ramps and elevators in addition to stairs. 
Extra wide corridors lead to the usual classrooms, and to the special physiotherapy rooms. 
These contain special booths, a large hydrotherapy tank built up from the floor, sitz baths, 
rhythm and exercise rooms, and on the roof is a sun deck for heliotherapy. 

4 The centralized school district also undertook with PWA aid the construction of a new 
school a few miles away. 



Most land-grant colleges and State universities, long- 
established, have sought PWA help for modernizing science, 
mechanical, and technical facilities, and for housing students 
and faculties. The University of Alabama is characteristic 
of what a university has done with PWA help. Thirteen 
separate projects costing $2, 566, 65 5, with an outright PWA 
grant of 31,153,365, have provided a new science building 
and several dormitories for men and for women. 

At Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, Va., a 
widely diversified group of buildings were made possible by 
an allotment of $2,069,338. These structures included two 
dormitories; administration and utilities buildings; four 
buildings of classrooms; and improvements to waterworks, 
heating plant, and sewerage facilities. 

In all, PWA has made allotments to 662 college projects, 
with a total construction cost of 3198,164,000. Out of 69 
land-grant colleges, PWA helped build new facilities on all 
but 8 of them. 




TRAINING FOR INDUSTRY. A TECHNICAL CLASS IN A READING, PA., HIGH 
SCHOOL, LEARNING HOW TO HANDLE MACHINERY 



135 



It is interesting that many colleges are financing their 55 
percent of the cost of dormitory projects by revenue bonds 
based on the rents charged for rooms. They are self-liqui- 
dating revenue projects. 

ADULT EDUCATION 

Of course, adult education is not confined to colleges. 
Most new schools are built to provide for service also to 
adults seeking further chances to learn in the evenings, and 
they are being used for that purpose. 

And rounding out the educational facilities, PWA has 
approved applications for 105 libraries, to provide reservoirs 
of knowledge for all to use. In many cases private me- 
morial funds had been left to the cities. These funds were, 
in most cases, insufficient to construct a building and con- 
sequently remained unused until PWA grants made up the 
necessary amount to go ahead with construction in depres- 
sion years. The beautiful Rundel Memorial Library in 
Rochester, N. Y., was built in this way. 

FEDERAL INSTITUTIONS 

In addition to giving assistance to local communities for 
schools, PWA made allotments for Federal projects. Uncle 
Sam's service training schools at West Point and Annapolis 
have been refurbished with PWA funds. The Military 
Academy received allotments of $3,483,464 for 20 projects 
which included new barracks, officers' quarters, a gymna- 
sium, nurses' quarters, warehouses, stables, and shops. At 
the Naval Academy, 36 PWA allotments totaling $5,324,057 
provided new radio equipment, hospital facilities, a chapel 
extension, officers' quarters, and repairs to a number of 
services such as the power and heating plant, the mess hall, 
roads, and in cooperation with the civil authorities provided 
for a new sewage disposal plant. The famed snow white 
uniforms of the cadets will be kept clean in a new laundry. 

On the western reservations the Government has built 
schools on the Federal lands reserved for the Indians. In 
6 years, PWA allotted $6,141,000 for 90 projects on 45 reser- 



136 



vations. These included elementary and high schools, dor- 
mitories, and laboratories. In the same way, PWA allot- 
ments have materially helped in Alaska and the Canal Zone, 
and have provided new buildings and equipment for Howard 
University at Washington, D. C. 

Non-Federal, as well as Federal, applications have re- 
flected the Nation's growing concern over unsafe and un- 
sanitary buildings and equipment. The President and the 
Administrator have determined that these cases should 
receive every consideration. A typical engineer's report 
graphically shows conditions at Kanawha City, W. Va., at 
the time they made application for PWA funds : 

A cheap building poorly constructed. Walls are out of plumb. Many 
families refuse to send their children to this school. Site is a swamp. 
Insanitary toilets in basement that is flooded several times during the 
year. Drinking facilities limited. Very poor lighting facilities. Some 
rooms are so arranged that windows are on the right of pupils seated. 
The new building will permit the establishment of an adequate junior and 
grade school organization in this community. 

SAFETY FACTORS 

Every day, every year, five schools burn. To eliminate 
schools that are a daily threat to children's lives, PWA, in 
providing funds for their replacement, required that every 
new school, built with PWA funds, shall have sufficient 
resistance to fire so that every child has plenty of time to 
leave the building. This meant no dead-end corridors to 
trap youngsters, and plenty of exits. Sixty percent of new 
school buildings completed with PWA funds before 1939 
replaced fire hazardous buildings. 

Leading engineers throughout the country developed a 
new type of earthquake-proof schools for Los Angeles which 
should protect school children from disasters similar to the 
one that occurred in 1935 (see ch. XVIII). 

In assisting local school authorities, PWA has helped set 
new high standards of construction and safety in the educa- 
tional fields. One very important point must be remembered 
in this connection. While PWA has made no attempt to 



dictate to the local school boards what kind of a building 
they should build, nor to control the curriculum, it has 
insisted that the best common practices of the building and 
safety codes should be met. 

STANDARDS OF CONSTRUCTION 

The results of this effort are shown in a survey by the Office 
of Education which queried school superintendents who had 
experience with both buildings constructed with PWA help, 
and buildings without assistance from PWA. Answers were 
received from 817 school superintendents. 

These superintendents were asked, Were the school build- 
ing standards for the PWA school buildings as compared with 
other buildings higher, about the same, or lower? 

Of the superintendents: 47.4 percent replied that they were 
higher, 47.2 percent said they were about the same, 2.7 per- 
cent found that they were lower, and 2.7 percent gave no 
reply. A further break-down of this figure showed, as might 
be expected, that PWA high standards were of more help to 
rural schools than to those in large cities. Of the rural school 
superintendents 53.7 percent found PWA standards higher. 
In the larger cities, the school systems generally had com- 
plete staffs specializing in school construction. Yet 32.9 
percent of these cities volunteered that PWA standards were 
higher, and 61.1 percent found them about the same. 

The second question inquired whether construction of 
school buildings under PWA regulations was better, about 
the same, or poorer. Of the superintendents 48 percent 
answered that it was better, 44.7 percent said it was about 
the same, 4.4 percent said it was poorer, and 2.9 percent did 
not reply. 

The next question asked, Were plans and specifications 
for school buildings more complete, about the same, or less 
complete? Of the superintendents, 48.1 percent answered 
more complete, 46.4 percent said about the same, 2.9 percent 
thought they were less complete, and 2.6 percent made no 
reply. 

The fourth question inquired if fairness in competition for 

138 



PWA contracts was fairer, about the same, or not so fair. Of 
the superintendents, 22.4 percent thought it was fairer, 70 
percent replied it was about the same, 4.2 percent said it was 
not so fair, and 3.4 percent made no reply. 

The last question asked if accounting methods developed 
under the PWA were better, the same, or poorer? Of the 
superintendents, 59.2 percent said they were better, 33.8 
percent said they were the same, 2.9 percent replied that they 
were poorer, and 4.1 percent did not answer. 

Useful as PWA loans and grants have been, much as PWA 
has done to raise the standards, school building construction 
has nowhere near been restored to predepression levels, 
which in turn was not enough to make up for the lag in 
school construction during the war. 






w& 



II 



1m 




THE MEDICAL AND DENTAL COLLEGES LABORATORIES BUILDING OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, LOCATED IN THE HEART OF THE WEST SIDE 

MEDICAL CENTER IN CHICAGO 



AMERICA BUILDS 



Chapter XI 



Aids to Health 




ALMOST a million people stay in 
bed each day not because they are 
lazy, or because they enjoy it, but because they are sick in 
hospitals. On an average day, 4 million more Americans are 
ill enough to stay away from schools or their jobs, or other 
activities. While most of these have minor ailments such as 
colds, many of them are disabled seriously enough to require 
hospitalization or clinical treatment. But only a small per- 
centage can receive such care, for the simple reason that 
there is not enough space in public hospitals to provide for 
them. 

There are only 1,100,000 beds at present to provide for all 
kinds of patients general, tuberculosis, mental, and other 



141 



special cases. America needs a third more beds. The 
United States Public Health Service estimates that the 
country needs 400,000 additional hospital beds to meet 
minimum professional standards of adequate care. 

PUBLIC HEALTH NEEDS 

The shocking shortage of health facilities in the United 
States has been called to public attention many times by 
medical welfare and health groups. In July 1938 the Presi- 
dent called a National Health Conference, 1 at which the whole 
grim picture was dramatically presented. A technical com- 
mittee, composed of medical experts, reported after a Nation- 
wide health survey that the health of thousands upon thou- 
sands of Americans was in jeopardy through lack of pure 
drinking water and sanitary sewage systems; that millions of 
people have no ready access to clinics, hospitals, and other 
modern facilities for treatment of illness; and that thousands 
die every month of disease that medical science can cure. 
Medical science has made magnificent strides, but it is of no 
help if it cannot be made available to the people. 

America is still behind the times, medical experts state, 
so far as adequate health care of its citizens is concerned. 
The depression, with its concurrent malnutrition, poorer 
housing, and lower living standards threw an unprecedented 
load on the hospitals. At a mental hospital in the Middle 
West, each new truckload of patients meant that an equal 
number would be allowed to u walk away" to make room. 
At a great metropolitan hospital in the East, patients had 
to be placed in corridors of the service buildings. This was 
not callousness; it was the result of the tremendous pressure 
for space. 

In a Southern State, an iron cage on a truck toured the 
State picking up mental patients, carting them to a central 
wooden hospital. So great was the need for space that there 

1 Sponsored by the President's Inter-Departmental Committee to Coordinate Health 
and Welfare Activities. This committee appointed a technical committee to make a survey 
of the Nation's health needs, and proposed a national health program. See Proceedings 
of the National Health Conference, Govt. Printing Office, 1938. 



142 




CHARITY HOSPITAL, NEW ORLEANS, THE LARGEST MEDICAL INSTITUTION 
IN THE SOUTH, WHICH HAS REPLACED THE OLD HOSPITAL SHOWN IN THE 

INSET 

could be no room between the beds. If two patients got 
into trouble in the far end of the room, the nurses had to 
remove their shoes and skip over the bodies of the intervening 
patients to tend their charges. 

The technical committee found that 40 percent of the 
counties in the United States were without a registered 
general hospital. They found that 60 percent of the States 
had fewer hospitals than could be considered adequate. The 
need for public hospitals was most urgent, since the private 
hospitals, with expensive rooms, were out of reach of the 
majority of citizens. The committee found that either 
because of the location of existing hospitals, or because the 
patients were unable to purchase the services, general hospital 
care was not available to a large part of the population. 

The committee also estimated that normal increase in 
hospital beds should be 25,000 a year. PWA has provided 
121,760 beds in hospitals costing 3367,659,880. Therefore, 



143 



PWA has provided the equivalent of 5 years' normal growth. 

PWA, however, has not enabled the Nation to catch up 
with the growing demand for hospitals, although it has 
provided 35 percent 2 of the total increase in hospital facili- 
ties from 1933 to 1939 during a time when the need for new 
facilities was most urgent. PWA has helped those who 
could least afford hospital facilities by providing for publicly, 
or Government-owned hospitals. With PWA funds the 
Federal Government has provided new facilities for the 
growing load of sick veterans and for men in active service, 
as well as vastly increasing medical research stations. En- 
couraged by PWA funds, thousands of communities have 
taken up the burden of constructing hospitals to catch up 
with their local needs. 

PWA-financed non-Federal hospitals can be classified into 
three or four major types of hospitals general hospitals, 
those specializing in mental cases, tuberculosis cases, and 
homes for the aged and indigent. 3 

GENERAL HOSPITALS 

In the South, as in some other regions, the deficiency 
of general hospitals has been acute. At New Orleans, 
PWA has helped build one of the largest institutions, the 
Charity Hospital, sponsored by the State of Louisiana. 
Costing $13,000,000, it will be one of the greatest hospital 
plants in the world, with a capacity for 3,000 patients. 

This 22-story cream-colored limestone building has been 
designed with the latest and best improvements in equip- 
ment. Its dozens of operating rooms will not only be air 
conditioned, but will be the first to be equipped with ex- 
plosion-proof operating lights, designed to prevent recurrence 
of the disasters in which the intense heat of the light, or an 
accidental spark set off highly explosive anesthetic gas. In 
its X-ray and theurapeutic clinics, the myriad ills of man will 

2 Expenditures on PWA hospital projects as compared to total expenditures for hospital 
construction during the same period. 

3 A summary of non-Federal hospital projects classified by type is given in table 12 in the 
appendix. 



144 



PWA AIDS 
HOSPITALS 




TYPE 



NUMBER OF BEDS 






21,923 



IJL'M 



MENTAL 









TUBERCULOSIS 





17,340 




CHARITABLE 




10,014 






12,584 



EACH 




REPRESENTS 10,000 BEDS 



receive the best treatment available. In addition, like most 
good hospitals, Charity Hospital will be an educational 
institution for completing the training of medical students. 
Students from Tulane and Louisiana State University will 
observe operations and autopsies performed, and make the 
rounds with famous surgeons. Included in the project are 
the numerous facilities that must go with a great hospital 
plant. There is a nurses' home as large as many big city 
hotels. A utilities plant will provide heat, light, and power, 
making the healing center independent of interruptions in 
vital services, likely to occur when the load is greatest, such 
as at flood times. 

Charity Hospital is a State institution, providing free care 
for citizens living in the southern half of the State. This is 
a starting point in helping patients over a large area. But 
there was, and there still is, a great need for small but modern 
general hospitals in rural areas all through the country. 
The hundreds of general hospitals built with PWA funds 
have provided many of these. 

Availability of these small general hospitals will mean 
the saving of many lives in childbirth and surgery cases, 
and with the tragic growth of automobile accidents, the 
ready accessibility of such hospitals for emergency cases 
may mean the difference between life and death. 

PWA has also helped in such urban hospitals as the General 
Hospital in Boston, where a PWA grant added 300 beds to 
the capacity. And the same story can be told time and 
again by merely varying the location to Dallas, to Pittsburgh, 
to Baltimore, to Miami, and to scores of other communities. 
In some cases complete new hospitals have been built and, 
in others, vital additions and improvements have been made. 

MENTAL HOSPITALS 

However, the majority of public hospital beds in the 
United States are occupied by nervous or mental patients. 
In 1937 there were over 400,000 such patients. And each 
year the Nation must plan on caring for 11,500 patients 
more than the year before. This does not necessarily mean 



146 



that the United States is getting crazier every year. It is 
partly the result of the breaking up of the family unit which 
used to keep its ill members at home, and partly the result 
of decreasing financial ability of people to care for their own 
dependents. Because of the long period of treatment for 
mental patients, the task of caring for them has been a 
problem for the State and local governments. 4 

In line with the general averages, more than 50 percent of 
the PWA hospital allotments have been made for construc- 
tion of hospital facilities for nervous and mental patients. 
In the non-Federal program alone, 49,725 beds have been 
added for the treatment of mental illnesses, 8,304 more for 
the care and treatment of the feeble-minded, and an additional 
1,870 for epileptics. 

There have never been enough beds to take care of mental 
patients. Since PWA started, impressive strides have been 
made. A few States such as Connecticut, New York, New 
Jersey, North Carolina, and Arkansas have almost caught up 
with their needs. Most States have not. 

In Arkansas the Census Bureau found in 1934 that there 
were twice as many inmates in asylums as could be properly 
cared for. One of the earliest applications PWA received 
was for a project that would add buildings at the State 
asylum near Little Rock. Arkansas is now in the front 
rank of States which are meeting the demands made for 
care of the mentally ill. 

Rhode Island is another State that could not meet the 
demands for mental care until PWA granted an allotment 
which helped finance $6,000,000 in additions to the asylum 
at Howard and the institution for feeble-minded at Lafayette. 
In 1934 institutions built for a capacity of 1,550 inmates, 
staggered with a load of 2,232. The PWA allotment pro- 
vided accommodations for 2,620 patients. Today Rhode 
Island has facilities adequate to meet its burden. 

At Moose Lake in Minnesota a PWA allotment enabled 
the State to build a complete new $2,181,500 unit in the 

4 The technical committee reports that 96 percent of beds in all mental hospitals are 
operated by State and local governments. 



State asylum system. On 1,700 acres in Carlton County 
there have gone up a new administration building, men's 
receiving hospital, women's receiving hospital, auditorium, 
gymnasium, service building, women's dormitory, men's dor- 
mitory, nurses' home, doctors' home, male employees' dor- 
mitory, two residences, power plant, garage and shop build- 
ing, freight depot, dairy barn, horse barn, chicken house, 
piggery, and three cottages for farmers. This project in- 
cludes landscaping, roads, and equipment for buildings and 
for the farm. 

Many of the mental hospitals are built in the midst of 
farms as the Moose Lake plant is. This not only serves to 
lower the cost of maintenance by having the inmates raise 
their own fresh foods, but provides a form of occupational 
therapy for the patients. 

Many schools for feeble-minded and epileptic children 
have been built on the same principle. At Mansfield the 
State of Connecticut maintains a school, which with the aid 
of a PWA grant of $2, 576,700 provides living and hospital- 
ization facilities, as well as farm and shop work adapted to 
the abilities of the patients. 

In all, PWA has helped provide more adequate treatment 
for those in need of mental hygiene and for the care of 
defective children in 40 out of the 48 States. 

TUBERCULOSIS HOSPITALS 

Tuberculosis hospitals follow mental and general hospitals 
in number, on the PWA roster. In the last few years the 
dreaded "white plague" of our fathers' time has been brought 
largely under control. PWA has lent aid to the work that has 
fought this disease to a standstill. The great strides made in 
the treatment of tuberculosis, the increasing success of the 
medical profession in halting the ravages of the disease has 
created a tremendous demand for facilities where modern 
treatment and research can be carried out. Like mental 
diseases, advanced cases of tuberculosis require long periods of 
treatment. For most patients the cost of this treatment 



148 




CHILDREN ARE GIVEN SUN-LAMP TREATMENT IN THE ORTHOPEDIC CLINIC, 
PART OF THE ILLINOIS STATE RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL HOSPITAL IN 

CHICAGO 

would be prohibitive without assistance from States and 
counties. 

Florida illustrates how acute the lack of facilities for the 
treatment of tuberculosis has been in some States and how 
this lack has been met through PWA help. In Florida by 
1927 the death toll from tuberculosis had reached a thousand 
a year. It was estimated then that there were 1 1,000 known 
cases of the disease in the State. At the same time in the 
whole State there were available only 185 beds in publicly 
owned hospitals for the treatment of the disease. 

When the full facts about conditions were made known, the 
Florida Legislature established a special board to deal with the 
problem. After an extensive survey, the board recommended 
the building of five sanatoriums. With little money to meet 
its problem, the board turned to PWA for aid in constructing 
the first of the five treatment centers. This sanatorium, 
built at Orlando, cost $805, 890, of which PWA furnished 
^639,890 in loans and grants. The sanatorium houses 400 
patients. 

In all PWA has provided 22,401 new beds for the care of 
tuberculosis patients in institutions at a total cost of $8 5,972,- 



149 



91 5- 5 While this is the total number of beds for the checking 
and cure of advanced cases, due to the improvements in 
methods of treatment, new techniques in preventive medicine 
are pointing the way to cutting down on the ravages of tuber- 
culosis while cutting the cost of treatment. The President's 
committee has recommended the construction of health 
centers where diseases such as tuberculosis would be diagnosed 
in incipient stages, before the patient was really sick, and 
treatment applied in time, would check the disease. 

In New York City the program of building health centers 
on a widespread scale has been carried on with PWA funds. 
Similar centers are being built in other parts of the Nation. 
In this connection, many new PWA-financed schools have 
been equipped with health clinics, where children can be 
examined periodically and their parents warned of troubles 
which may later grow serious. Not only will this type of 
preventive medicine mean much in saving human suffering, 
but it will mean a dollars-and-cents saving in expensive 
medical facilities. 

HOMES FOR THE AGED 

At the other end of the human span are the PWA-financed 
charitable homes for the aged, for those whose life work is 
nearly over. On a grassy knoll, overlooking the rugged hills 
of New York's Westchester County is the county home built 
with a PWA grant of $5 25,000. Here the sun streaming in 
the great windows finds a solarium on the east and west expo- 
sures. Between are compact neat little rooms for single 
people and some slightly larger for couples. Inside the build- 
ing is a cheery dining room, a small assembly hall, complete 
hospital facilities for the infirm, and a tiny chapel, where last 
rites may be performed for those whose duties to this society 
are done. 

Throughout the Nation, PWA has helped provide 6,614 
new beds for the aged in charitable homes costing $12,604,- 
5I4. 6 Most of these homes, like various hospitals, are run 

5 Of these, 17,340 are in non-Federal projects costing $67,91.3,740. 

6 Of these 5,867 are in non-Federal projects costing $i 2,376,054. 



150 



in connection with farms, to provide fresh foods and to 
lower costs. 

FEDERAL HOSPITALS 

While the majority of the hospital facilities have been built 
by State and local communities with the aid of Federal 
grants, PWA funds have provided for 12,584 additional beds 
in 151 Federal projects at a cost of $36,887,384. The Veter- 
ans' Administration alone has built 43 PWA-financed hos- 
pitals, clinics, and homes, providing 7,793 beds. The War 
Department, Office of Indian Affairs, the Navy Department, 
the Department of Justice (in connection with prisons), and 
the Treasury Department have provided the remainder. 

OTHER HEALTH FACILITIES 

Although all the classifications above, both non-Federal 
and Federal, show how PWA has provided new hospital 
beds, this does not cover the field of PWA help to public 
health, for a great number of applications were for service 
and utility buildings in connection with existing plants. 
There were hundreds of projects for rebuilding kitchen 
facilities, boiler plants, power and light plants, nurses' 
homes, administration buildings, staff quarters, garages, 
water-supply systems, and other utilities. These added no 
beds, but in many cases made additional beds available in 
the hospital buildings which had formerly been needed for 
staffs. 

There is still another type of medical project which does 
not provide beds, but is of great importance. PWA has made 
allotments for construction of medical schools and dental 
schools, where medical students and graduate doctors will 
receive more adequate training. Syracuse University has 
long been a major factor in training doctors for the central 
New York area. So old and so dilapidated had the school 
plant grown that it was in danger of losing its Medical 
Association rating. Being a private institution, it was not 
eligible for a PWA grant, but PWA made a $825,000 loan 
which enabled the authorities to build a modern plant to 
carry on the work. 



The allotments to the State colleges have been of great 
importance. The University of Indiana had been conducting 
classes at Bloomington in a medical building constructed for 
a capacity of 30 students in 1884. Remodeling and new 
equipment in 1911 enabled it to serve 60 students, but it was 
far too small for the 120 who were crowded in. A PWA grant 
helped build a beautiful new three-story stone and concrete 
school of medicine, costing $469,650. The University also 
has a medical center in Indianapolis. Because of the need 
for space, PWA helped finance a $637,983 medical and clinic 
building, whose five floors contain examination rooms, 
laboratories, offices, wards, and private rooms. It is virtually 
a hospital, and will furnish added instruction to advanced 
students. 

The University of Illinois had been training its medical 
and dental students in a ramshackle old building in the 
midst of Chicago's growing West Side medical center. For 
many years increasing enrollment and new research activities 
were badly hampered by lack of space. Finally, a PWA loan 
and grant provided the University with a 1 5-story laboratory 
building for the medical and dental colleges. 

Medical buildings and clinics, dispensaries, and research 
centers have also been built as educational projects for such 
universities as the Universities of Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, 
Louisville, and Maryland. 

An important phase of medical care has been the provision 
of out-patient departments, dispensaries, and serum centers. 
Manhattan's famed old Willard Parker Laboratory, long a 
major source of serums for the prevention of virulent disease, 
had grown so old and unsanitary that it was condemned. 
This meant that the hundreds of health departments through- 
out the Nation that depended on it for certain serums which 
could not be commercially supplied, would be left without the 
life-saving capsules. In response to this need, PWA made a 
$700,000 allotment to rebuild the plant and carry on the vital 

work. 

SPECIAL HOSPITALS 

Even among the specialized hospitals built with PWA 



152 



funds, the hospital at Rolla, Mo., is unique. The State board 
of health applied to PWA for a grant of $61,000 to build a 
new hospital for the treatment of trachoma, a virulently 
contagious disease of the eye, making great inroads in the 
region. The State legislature appropriated $75,000, and the 
citizens of Rolla provided a site. The new hospital contains 
60 beds, and the most up-to-date equipment known for the 
treatment of trachoma. 

Throughout the Nation there have been more than 4,393 of 
these miscellaneous medical projects, costing $17,519,491. 
Each of them really deserves a chapter in itself. The most 
that can be said is that all stand ready to render service to 
the Nation. 

REMAINING NEEDS 

All PWA projects are socially useful but there are few types 
of projects more so than the hospitals which its funds have 
made possible. The United States is still under hospitalized, 
but without PWA's help during the last few years it would 
have been faced with a more tragic inadequacy of modern 
facilities. 

Despite the more than 121,000 beds added to the Nation's 
hospital resources through PWA during the last 6 years there 
is yet much to do. To bring the country's hospital facilities 
to an adequate standard the technical committee prescribed 
36,000 beds a year and the establishment of some 500 health 
and diagnostic centers in areas now inaccessible to hospitals. 

Trying to cure a disease after it has wrought havoc in the 
body is necessary, but it is far more intelligent to prevent 
disease in the first place. What use is it to build hospitals 
and clinics just to fill them with cases of water-borne disease 
from an unsanitary water supply? What use is it to build a 
fine water distribution system that takes its water from a river 
polluted by the discharge of raw sewage from the next town 
upstream? Each of these types of facilities is an outpost in 
the chain of fortresses needed to protect our health. 



153 




AN INTERIOR VIEW OF THE NEW SEWAGE-TREATMENT PLANT AT PERTH 

AMBOY, N. J. THIS PROJECT IS ONE OF 16 CONSTRUCTED OR IMPROVED 

WITH PWA AID BY NEW JERSEY COMMUNITIES IN ORDER TO ABATE 

POLLUTION IN THE RARITAN RIVER 



AMERICA BUILDS 



Chapter XII 



Sewage and 
Stream Pollution 




NO SELF-RESPECTING fish 
would enter the mouths of 
many American rivers. If it did, it would face a terrific 
struggle for survival among the sewage, floating cabbage 
leaves, tin cans, orange peels, garbage, street refuse, indus- 
trial wastes, and other debris that competed with it for the 
available oxygen. 

The silvery frost fish, a delicacy for which fishermen have 
spent many happy hours angling, used to abound in the 
Raritan River, in densely populated northeastern New Jersey. 
But that was almost two decades ago, when the waters 
of the stream were relatively pure, and men as well as fish 
swam in it. As late as 1922, Rutgers University, which 



155 



graces the river's banks, held an Olympic tryout there. 

Five years later, however, that would have been impos- 
sible. The intense industrialization of the area which began 
during the war years, and the increase in population to 250,000 
people in that i,ioo-squa re-mile drainage area, brought about 
a befouling of the waters that menaced public health, caused 
a drop in real-estate values along its shores, and seriously 
threatened the rich shellfish areas of Raritan Bay. Out of the 
1 6 municipalities that dumped sewage into the stream, 10 
had no treatment works, 5 others had old and inadequate 
works, and i had a plant which could be made to operate 
efficiently with minor improvements. 

The pollution finally became so unbearable that the State 
department of health ordered 1 1 of the municipalities to cease 
discharging untreated sewage into the river. The courts 
held the department to be right. The communities said 
they had no money to correct the situation. And so nothing 
was done. 

PWA, as soon as it was organized, became interested in 
the situation. Beginning with an allotment of $920,000 to 
Perth Amboy for the construction of that city's sewage-dis- 
posal system, financial aid was rendered by 1938 for all 16* 
communities for works costing $4,212,000. Now, the 
Raritan rapidly is becoming the beautiful stream it once was, 
and anglers report the return of the silvery frost fish. 

WASTES CREATE LOSSES 

Sports, recreation, health, transportation, real property, 
and other economic assets all suffer from stream pollution. 
Wastes are no respecters of city limits or State lines. Only a 
few years ago, the sewage from Buffalo polluted the Niagara 
River used by other cities lower down as their source of 
drinking water, culminating in an outbreak of thousands of 
cases of illness. For many years the dumping of New York 
City sewage, refuse, and garbage fouled the Jersey seacoast 
causing physical nuisance, and greatly reducing real-estate 

1 Perth Amboy, Highland Park. Metuchen, New Brunswick, Keyport, Manville, Plain- 
field, Bound Brook, South River, Sayreville, Raritan, Raritan Township, Flemington, 
Somerville, Middlesex, and Woodbridge. 

156 



values. Many extensive areas in Pennsylvania and other 
mining States bear mute witness to the ravages caused by 
mine wastes, with a gray pall blotting out all signs of vege- 
tation. Towns in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and practically 
every other populous State maintained the stand-by, obnox- 
ious dump ground. 

An indication of the economic losses of uncontrolled waste 
disposal is presented in the report 2 of the joint survey of the 
upper Mississippi River made by the State departments of 
health of Minnesota and Wisconsin. The report showed an 
annual loss to commercial fishing and clamming of $95,000; 
annual damage to sport fishing and attendant industries, 
$35,000; damage to lands for recreational use estimated at 
$1,500,000; and decreased property value in the Twin Cities 
approximating $2,000,000. 

For many years it has been a matter of political expediency 
for American cities to appropriate for good roads, and dis- 
charge raw sewage into streams on the theory that good 
streets bring votes while construction of secluded sewage- 
treatment plants means bond issues and operating expenses 
which raise taxes and irritate voters. Too often the com- 
munities lower down on a stream have refused to clean up 
because the cities upstream have neglected their responsibil- 
ity to the public and industry in the disposal of their wastes. 
Under this laissez-faire policy, the conditions of the Nation's 
streams have become worse from year to year. The great 
wave of intestinal disorders that spread progressively down 
the Ohio River following the 1930 drought attacking various 
cities in sequence, and the more recent outbreak of over 
100,000 cases of intestinal disturbances in Milwaukee, may 
forecast more serious disease outbreaks in the future unless 
pollution loads are limited. 

Today 3 the sewage from approximately 25 percent of the 
urban population of the country receives primary treatment 
only, while the sewage from 35,000,000 people or 47 percent 
of the urban population is discharged untreated into water 

2 First Report on Water Pollution, National Resources Committee. 
8 National Resources Committee release No. 66, February 1939. 



PERCENTAGE OF URBAN 

POPULATION 

HAVING SEWAGE TREATMENT 



FULL TREATMENT 



HI 




PRIMARY TREATMENT 



111 



UNTREATED 



mil 



EACH FIGURE REPRESENTS 10* OF URBAN POPULATION 

bodies. About 2,300,000 tons of sulfuric acid are dis- 
charged into streams annually from abandoned and active 
coal mines. According to the United States Corps of Engi- 
neers, annual losses from acid pollution in the Pittsburgh 
district an area with exceptionally acute waste problems 
amounted to at least $8,000,000 in 1925. 

Damages from such disposal of wastes are more serious in 
the Nation's vital manufacturing belt which extends from the 
Atlantic seaboard between Boston and Washington westward 
to Chicago and St. Louis. This is a zone of concentration of 
population and of industry. Fully 75 percent of the wastes- 
disposal problem lies within this area and a few outlying 
areas on the Plains and the Pacific coast. 

SURVEY OF FACILITIES 

According to an inventory of sewage-disposal facilities in 
the United States in 1938, no section of the country has more 



158 



than 70 percent of its urban population served by sewage- 
treatment works. The Middle West ranks first in this 
respect, while the New England area is at the bottom, 
indicating that "the New England and Southern regions have 
not advanced their programs for sewage treatment at the 
same rate that the country as a whole has achieved." 4 

Percentage of total urban population in the United States, 
served by sewage-treatment works, according to regions 

Middle West 68.5 

West of Mississippi River 65.3 

Middle Atlantic 52.4 

Far West 48.5 

Southern 3 T 4 

New England 26.0 

Effective control of waste disposal heretofore has been 
hampered principally by (i) a multiplicity of conflicting 
laws; (2) a multiplicity of State departments, agencies, and 
municipalities concerned with the administration of stream- 
pollution laws, often with conflicting aims and interests and 
no mandatory powers; and (3) constitutional or statutory 
limitations on the bonding or taxing power of municipalities. 

Such were the conditions in 1933 that the problems of 
stream pollution by industrial waste and domestic sewage 
were outstripping the best efforts of those whose function 
it is to effect an economic and regional balance between sen- 
sible regulation and industrial expansion. 

PWA ALLOTMENTS 

PWA early recognized the importance and need of sewerage 
works and designated their construction as desirable. It 
made allotments for 1,527 sewage systems costing more than 
$466,000,000, representing n percent of the estimated cost 
of all PWA non-Federal work. Sewage-treatment plants 
alone accounted for 873 projects costing $325,358,000. 
About 67 percent of all new sewage-treatment plants con- 
structed since 1933 have been PWA projects. 5 

4 Engineering News-Record, Vol. 122, No. 3, January 19, 1939. 

5 See tables 9 and 10 in the appendix. 



'59 



In Iowa, furthering a State-supported drive to stop the 
dumping of raw, untreated sewage into the State's rivers 
and streams, PWA aided communities in undertaking the 
construction or improvement of more than half a hundred 
sewage-disposal plants at a cost of about $9, 280,000. 

This construction was the response to efforts to end a con- 
dition of pollution the State health department long had 
considered "very serious," from health and sanitary stand- 
points. 

The fight to free Iowa from the scourge of sewage pollution 
brought State legislative action in 1924 with a law forbidding 
cities to dump untreated sewage into rivers and streams. It 
took further tangible form in State health department 
"desist" orders in 1931 and 1934, subsequently upheld by the 
State executive council. 

The orders required 14 cities and towns on three of the 
principal river systems, the Des Moines, Iowa, and Cedar, 
to show cause why they should not dispose of municipal 
sewage through treatment plants. Other communities over 
the State, with less acute conditions, needed treatment plants 
or additions to existing facilities. Prevented by financial 
considerations from proceeding with their needed develop- 
ments, Iowa communities turned to PWA for assistance. 
PWA grants and funds supplied by the communities them- 
selves made the construction possible. 

With the exception of Ottumwa and Marengo, all 14 of the 
"cited" cities undertook sewage-plant projects. The dump- 
ing of untreated sewage into the waterways amounting to 
millions of gallons a day has been curtailed sharply. At 
Des Moines, for example, one outlet for treated sewage was 
designed to replace more than half a hundred separate units 
for untreated city waste. 

NEW YORK STATE PROJECTS 

Although State laws governing stream pollution in New 
York date back to 1903 and much effort was expended by the 
State health department in remedying conditions, it was not 
until Federal aid was made available that real progress was 



I 60 



achieved. In the period 1934-38 more sewage-treatment 
plants have been constructed in New York than in the pre- 
vious 30 years. In this achievement the policy of PWA was 
not to usurp any of the powers of the State authorities. In- 
stead PWA assisted the State agencies through close coopera- 
tion so that in design and construction the projects fulfilled 
State requirements. 

The State department of health of New York has been 
endeavoring particularly to clean up the Hudson River and 
New York Harbor, Lake Erie, and the Niagara River. 
PWA assistance in providing sewage-treatment plants for 
Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Tonawanda, and the Coney 
Island and Ward's Island plants at New York City as well 
as many plants on the Hudson River, is resulting in the 
elimination of the pollution of these waters. The pollution 
load of the Niagara River has been reduced to such an extent 
already that the need for water-purification chemicals 
formerly used by the waterworks plants to purify the river 
water has been reduced considerably. The millions of bath- 
ing patrons using the Coney Island beaches annually are 
being furnished a water free from the former sewage filth 
and bacteria. 

The whole New York Harbor clean-up is an excellent 
example of interstate cooperation and the use of regional 
authorities to effect a reduction in pollution of common 
waters. The Interstate Sanitation Commission, set up in 
1930, attempted to carry out a complete program, but until 
Federal aid made possible the construction of 14 sewage-dis- 
posal systems on the Hudson River and in the New York 
Bay region an area of 12,000,000 population, progress con- 
sisted mainly of extensive planning. In other watersheds 
throughout the Nation, interstate authorities are also being 
established to handle common problems of this nature. 

PROJECTS IN OHIO 

In Ohio, although statutes have been in effect for more than 
30 years, real progress in the abatement of stream pollution 
has been confined to the past 10 or 15 years, and especially 



161 



the period since 1933. About 15 years ago a State-wide 
survey of stream conditions showed that approximately 400 
miles of the 12,000 miles of streams in Ohio were badly 
polluted. Although there were some 60 sewage-treatment 
works serving municipalities, less than one-half were giving 
satisfactory results. The failures were due largely to neglect 
and need for improvements to plants. With PWA aid during 
the period 1933-37, $^3, 000,000, or more than twice the 
amount spent on sewage-treatment improvements in the 6 
years prior to Federal aid, added 1,790,000 people or approx- 
imately twice the population contributary to sewage-treat- 
ment plants in the prior period. 

The greatest single sewage-disposal project of its type in 
history was successfully completed by PWA in Chicago 
(see ch. XVIII), ending a generation of legal battles in which 
States bordering on the Great Lakes, and States touching the 
Mississippi River were involved in the litigation, which was 
settled by the Supreme Court. The lake States did not want 
their water drained off to flush Chicago's sewage down the 
Chicago and Illinois Rivers to the Mississippi, and the river 
States did not want the city's wastes under any circumstances. 

As PWA studied the Nation's sewerage problems, it 
adopted a policy of refusing to be a party to the construction 
of any sewerage system which permitted untreated wastes to 
enter into any lake or stream so as to increase pollution. As 
a result the construction of many disposal plants was hastened. 

The examples of progress achieved in sewage-treatment 
plant installation in Iowa, New York, Ohio, and Illinois are 
typical of other States. In a number of instances, there have 
been comprehensive clean-ups of whole drainage areas, such 
as the Raritan River valley in New Jersey. 

Fox RIVER DRAINAGE BASIN 

The Fox River area in Wisconsin may serve as another 
case in point. The Lower Fox River is a waterway about 38 
miles long in northeastern Wisconsin, connecting Lake Win- 
nebago with Green Bay, and has a drainage area above the 
mouth of the river of about 6,430 square miles. The serious 



I 62 




THE EASTERLY SEWAGE-TREATMENT WORKS, PART OF THE VAST SEW- 
AGE-TREATMENT PROGRAM UNDERTAKEN WITH PWA ASSISTANCE IN 

CLEVELAND, OHIO 

pollution of the Fox River has been under investigation by 
the State board of health for many years. The population 
contributing sewage from the adjacent cities is approximately 
140,000. The waste from paper mills discharged into the 
river comprises a large part of the pollution, increasing the 
quantity of sewage to the equivalent of a population of 
800,000. The condition of the stream particularly in the 
summer has affected the use of the water for bathing and 
recreational purposes and as a source of water supply by 
communities. 

Sewage-treatment plants have been constructed with the 
aid of PWA for Oshkosh, Neenah and Menasha, Appleton, 
Little Chute, Kaukauna, De Pere, and Green Bay, at an esti- 
mated total cost of ^5,000,000. With the exception of Neenah 
and Menasha, which have a joint plant, all the plants provide 
for primary treatment by plain sedimentation or chemical 
treatment, and for chlorination of the plant effluent during 
periods of critical river flow, as approved by the State Board 



163 



of Health. These plants have resulted in practically cleaning 
up the lake and the river. 

WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA 

Another example of PWA aid in cleaning up a drainage area 
is that of the Potomac Drainage Basin in the Washington 
metropolitan area and nearby vicinity. The population of 
the entire basin in 1932 was estimated at 1,200,000, half in the 
city of Washington and about 85,000 in the Washington 
Suburban Sanitary District. 

Prior to 1933 the District of Columbia including various 
Federal Government agencies, the Washington Suburban 
Sanitary District, and other communities in Virginia and 
Maryland were discharging raw sewage into the Potomac 
River and adjacent tributaries. As a result, the river 6 was 
polluted with sewage for a distance of more than 20 miles 
downstream from the Anacostia River. PWA allotted a total 
of $i 5, 613, 635 on numerous Federal and non-Federal sewers 
and sewage-treatment works in Virginia, Maryland, and the 
District of Columbia, so that the wastes of more than 85 per- 
cent of the population of this area will receive at least primary 
treatment. 

FEDERAL-LOCAL COOPERATION 

Joint efforts and cooperation between local governments 
and the Federal Government, such as that which has taken 
place in the Potomac River clean-up, have not been uncom- 
mon. Large Federal institutions are located in many munici- 
palities throughout the country. Included among these 
institutions are schools, hospitals and prisons which are usu- 
ally dependent upon the local source of supply for water, 
sewers, power, and other utilities. In many instances the 
population of such an institution, when compared with the 
population of the municipality in which it is located, exerts 
considerable influence on the need for local public works. 

The United States Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Md., has 
a population of some 5,000 people compared with a popula- 

6 Report of Board of Sanitary Engineers to the Board of Commissioners, District of 
Columbia, Sewerage and Sewage Disposal, December 22, 1933. 

164 



tion of 7,700 for the city of Annapolis. In 1933 it became 
necessary to increase the facilities for the collection and dis- 
posal of sewage in Annapolis. The availability of PWA funds 
for both Federal and non-Federal projects made possible the 
adoption of a satisfactory agreement between the Federal Gov- 
ernment and the city of Annapolis. The city built adequate 
facilities for both, PWA providing the full amount for the 
Academy's share, and granting an allotment toward the cost 
of the City's share of the works. 

A striking illustration of community benefit resulting from 
Federal-local cooperation exists in the sewage-disposal under- 
takings on the Mississippi River in the vicinity of Minne- 
apolis and St. Paul, Minn. A $6, 623, 500 non-Federal sewage- 
disposal project to clear the Mississippi at the Twin Cities 
was begun in 1934. There is, however, an army post at Fort 
Snelling and unless measures were taken to care for Fort 
Snelling, it would constitute a source of pollution in that re- 
gion and serve to detract from the objectives of the Twin 
Cities project. Consequently, the War Department made an 
exhaustive study of the various methods for the efficient dis- 
posal of sewage from the Fort Snelling Reservation and con- 
cluded that the most practical plan to dispose of sewage was 
through a connection with the Minneapolis system under an 
agreement with the local authorities whereby they would be 
paid for the cost involved in treating the additional wastes. 
Accordingly, an application was made to the PWA by the War 
Department for this work and $275,000 was allotted for the 
construction of the interceptor sewer system at Fort Snelling. 

The construction of utilities as necessary incidents to proj- 
ects undertaken by Federal departments and agencies them- 
selves with PWA funds has meant much in the betterment of 
health and the improvement of property in the communities 
in which these Federal projects are situated. A total of 
$3,451,530 was expended on 118 projects 7 including sewage- 
disposal plants, sanitary and storm sewers, as well as refuse- 
disposal units. 

7 Including combined sewer and water projects brings the total to 138 projects costing 
$4,138,180. 

165 



GARBAGE AND REFUSE DISPOSAL 

While progress in the construction of municipal sewage- 
disposal systems during the past few years has been consid- 
erable, communities have made less progress in constructing 
incinerators and other garbage and refuse disposal plants. 
Only 41 projects costing a little less than $11,000,000 have 
been undertaken. Many of these, however, represent not 
only the finest plants of their sort in the world, but archi- 
tecturally constitute attractive additions to the collection of 
public buildings in America. 

Under PWA, the trend toward mechanization of garbage 
disposal, and especially sewage treatment has advanced. 
Definitely on the increase are complete chemical and me- 
chanical treatment plants utilizing byproducts such as sludge 
for fertilizer and gas for power. 

Despite the tremendous increase in sewage treatment dur- 
ing the past few years, a vast amount of improvement is still 
necessary before the problem is solved. 

At the present time i% billion gallons of sewage a day 
receive adequate treatment. Another i% billion gallons 
receive only primary treatment. And 2% billion gallons of 
raw filth are being poured into the Nation's lakes and streams 
each day without any treatment. 

It does not follow that all wastes require full treatment. 
But it does mean that each problem must be studied and 
that treatment adequate for that particular locality must be 
provided. This is necessary not only from social necessity 
but from the viewpoint of dollars-and-cents economy, for 
community after community has found that pollution costs 
money, in terms of lowered income from fishing, from recre- 
ation areas, from potential industries, and decreased property 
values. 

The public has been awakened to the importance and need 
for waste disposal control works. Hundreds of communi- 
ties now plan to provide such facilities, waiting only for the 
time when they can successfully finance their projects. 



166 




A MILLION-GALLON WATER-STORAGE TANK ERECTED AT NEWPORT NEWS, 
VA., TO REPLACE AN OLD TANK WHICH HAD BEEN CONDEMNED 



AMERICA BUILDS 



Chapter XIII 



Water Is Life 




WATER is life. Apparently this fun- 
damental fact must be learned on the 
battlefront of experience again and again. When this lesson 
is forgotten, even for a moment, the consequences are imme- 
diate and disastrous. 

A brief lapse in maintaining the purity of a water supply 
occurred in 1928 in Olean, N. Y., a town with a population 
of 21,000. Typhoid germs rode into the Olean homes through 
the water pipes. Two hundred and thirty-eight cases of the 
disease resulted. Twenty-one people died. Court claims 
against the city mounted to a total of $425,ooo. 1 

1 See "Water-borne Disease in New York State", by Earl Devendorf, Associate Director, 
Division of Sanitation, New York State Department of Health, Journal of the New England 
Waterworks Association, September 1933, p. 298. 

169 



To prevent similar disasters, engineers everywhere to whom 
the Nation has entrusted the purity of its water supply 
must be eternally vigilant. 

Everyone realizes the necessity of a pure water supply 
from the standpoint of health. But the quality of the 
water supply is equally important. People will not and 
cannot drink muddy, discolored, or malodorous water, or 
water with harmful dissolved salts. Water must not only 
be satisfactory for drinking purposes, but also for household 
use and for industry. 

Hard water, that is water with lime or certain other dis- 
solved salts, requires the use of more soap to clean clothes and 
dishes, and that costs money. Unsatisfactory water also 
prevents industries from utilizing locations that are other- 
wise suitable. To some plants water is as important as fuel 
or raw materials. The chemical and dyeing industries offer 
examples. 

VALUE OF GOOD WATER SUPPLY 

The presence or absence of an adequate water supply can 
affect the destiny of an entire municipality or commercial 
area. Webster, N. Y., gave proof to this theory. It installed 
a waterworks system in 1936, which not only provided 1,500 
citizens in the community with pure drinking water but also 
stimulated a wave of local prosperity. 

Webster is in the heart of the central New York State 
farming belt. Every autumn long trains puff out of this 
lakeside region, bound for the Nation's dinner tables. The 
canning industry is one of the backbones of its business life, 
providing employment in the area. But a lack of adequate 
water for the washing and canning processes, hampered 
Webster for years. 

Webster outgrew the well-and-bucket water-supply system 
back in 1910. Some springs were found and developed near 
the town. There was a little boom then. But it did not 
get far, for the growth of population soon outgrew the supply, 
and the springs dried up in the summer when the water was 
needed most. For 10 years water had to be brought in by 



170 



truck from nearby towns. In some years trucking the 
water cost as high as $15,000 for the summer months. 

Webster had about given up hope of building an adequate 
water-supply system when an application for a PWA grant 
was acted upon favorably. Work began at once. The 
completion of the project in 1937 called for a village-wide 
celebration. 

Shortly thereafter a nationally known packing plant took 
option on property and began construction of a new packing 
plant. That meant a good many hundreds of thousands of 
dollars in annual wages to Webster citizens. Other concerns 
also became interested. The people, with new pay rolls in 
sight, began to build homes. Property values in Webster 
Township increased. 

Webster housewives found the new water to be soft, and 
soap bills were cut. Also with the opening of the new system, 
fire-insurance rates dropped. 

Neighboring towns watched all this with interest. As a 
result Forest Lawn, Penfield, and Union Hill have contracted 
to buy excess Webster water for their people, and have built 
mains to connect with Webster, bringing considerable revenue 
into Webster's treasury. 

Other communities have also learned from experience the 
economic value and convenience of a dependable domestic 
water supply. Communities which have constructed new 
systems or have made improvements and extensions to their 
present systems including treatment of the water, have been 
rewarded by better public health, lower fire-insurance rates, 
financial savings resulting from less damage to domestic 
plumbing and industrial equipment. 

PREVAILING DIFFICULTIES 

A good, adequate water supply is not readily available to 
many cities in the United States. Most communities were 
founded where water was available, but growing populations 
and increased demands for industrial, commercial, and domes- 
tic use have made these original supplies inadequate. Some 
cities now have to go many miles for their sources of water. 



171 



Los Angeles water must cross mountains and deserts for a 
distance of 250 miles to make its rendezvous with the house- 
hold faucets. New York City obtains a major portion of its 
supply from the Catskill Mountains, and is already reaching 
toward the Delaware River, 115 miles away, for an addi- 
tional supply. Denver must bring a part of its water across 
the Continental Divide (see ch. XVIII). Even where suffi- 
cient water is available, treatment to remove mud, discolora- 
tion, and high mineral content must often be applied to make 
the supply satisfactory. 

The whole problem of water supply is interwoven with that 
of proper sewage treatment and stream pollution. While 
Chicago, for example, can easily reach out into Lake Michi- 
gan for its needs, it has had to reverse the flow of the Chicago 
River so that its wastes would not be poured into its source of 
drinking water. 

Other cities have had to put in expensive purification plants, 
and add chemicals to their drinking water on account of 
stream pollution that in many cases had been caused by 
neighboring municipalities. They had to add chlorine to 
destroy harmful germs; install filters consisting of sand beds; 
and to treat the water chemically to take out mud and dis- 
coloration and to remove the dissolved salts. 

Because an adequate water supply is a prime necessity, 
communities have made more progress in this field than they 
have in sewage disposal and abatement of stream pollution. 
Because of increased demands made by modern industrial 
techniques and the tremendous new load brought about by 
the advent of air conditioning with its use of water for washing 
and cooling air, the supply in many cities today is nowhere 
near adequate. 

In the decade 1919-29, municipalities spent an average of 
$119,000,000 a year for new waterworks construction. By 
1933, however, the amount dropped to less than $47,000,000. 
Between 1933 and 1939 new construction rose to an average 
of approximately $85,000,000 a year. PWA financed proj- 
ects accounted for about 50 percent of this total. In all, 
PWA made allotments for 2,419 non-Federal waterworks 



172 



projects costing $311, 845,653,* actual construction varying 
from 37 to 77 percent of all new non-Federal waterworks 
construction a year. 

VARIOUS UNDERTAKINGS 

The benefits of this program have been widespread. 
Communities in every State have undertaken new construc- 
tion of this type, the number of projects varying from 167 
in Ohio to 5 in Delaware. 

Typical of the assistance rendered to hundreds of villages 
and towns by PWA in installing new waterworks is that 
furnished by Wilton, Ala. (See ch. XVIII.) 

The resourcefulness of engineers in providing water for 
municipalities in regions of long summer droughts is illus- 
trated by the story of Snyder, Okla. Wells drilled into the 
semi-arid prairie yielded bitter-tasting, hard water in good 
times and yielded nothing in summer, when water often 
had to be brought in by railroad tank car and doled out to 
the citizens. Three new water supply wells which were pur- 
chased in 1936 for $15,000, failed in 1937. Snyder had 
almost given up hope, because any wells would be as bad and 
unreliable as the old ones, and the 1,200 people could not 
finance any other water system with their own resources. 

The town's engineers, however, were given new hope by 
the prospect of Federal aid. The only feasible source of 
supply was Otter Creek about 5 miles away. They designed 
an earth-fill dam 40 feet high, a spillway out of solid rock, 
filter plant, pumping station, two 50,000 gallon reservoirs 
and a distribution system. PWA approved a grant of 
$56,700. The town was able to raise the $69,300 remainder 
of the funds necessary. Construction started in December 
1937 and 6 months later the rock reservoir behind the dam 
was filled and a dependable supply of sweet, soft water was 
turned into the mains. 

In Chicago, PWA helped the city start on a water-treat- 
ment program that has long been needed. The south end of 
Lake Michigan, from which Chicago's drinking water comes, 

2 See tables 9 and u in the appendix. 

173 



has periodically been badly polluted by sewage and industrial 
wastes. In 192324 a localized typhoid outbreak occurred 
on the south side due to this contamination. Although the 
water was chlorinated, there were occasions when the water 
was too highly polluted to make chlorine alone effective. 

As far back as 1930 Chicago voted in favor of filtration by a 
majority of 69 percent of the ballots cast. Inadequate 
finances prevented any action being taken until July 1938 
when a PWA grant of $5,415,000 started work on the first of a 
huge series of plants, whose estimated cost is $21,000,000. 
A modern rapid sand filtration plant is designed to treat 
300,000,000 gallons of water a day removing dirt, harmful 
bacteria, bad odors, and discoloration. The project also 
includes metering of house connections to avoid waste and 
limit the capital cost of the plant. 

PROPER WATER SUPPLY 

PWA has been instrumental in detecting high fluorine 
content in water, which causes mottled enamel teeth in 
growing children under 8 years of age. This dental defect 
has been definitely noted in at least 260 areas in 26 States. 3 
In certain sections, such as the Texas Panhandle, this condi- 
tion is widespread and serious. PWA has required due 
warning to the citizens of the fluorine content of the water 
and its effects. In cooperation with the State departments of 
health, it has encouraged treatment of such water. In cer- 
tain cases, such as that of Bloomdale, Ohio, where, because 
of local financial conditions, the State department of health 
could not enforce necessary treatment of the fluorine water, 
PWA was able to help finance the cost of such treatment. 

Another requirement by PWA that communities definitely 
prove a good adequate source of water before installing a 
water-distribution system has resulted in saving hundreds of 
thousands of dollars for communities. 

In the case of Mina, Nev., where the State board of health 
did not have any sanitary engineering personnel, PWA sent 

3 See "Facts about Fluorides," by Dr. H. Trendley Dean, dental surgeon, U. S. Public 
Health Service, in Engineering News Record, April 21, 1938. 



an engineer to investigate a proposed waterworks system, 
involving a water of questionable quantity. It was found 
that due to recent earthquake shocks the flows of certain 
nearby springs had increased substantially and one spring 
especially could be depended upon to furnish an adequate 
supply of water for the needs of the town. It was found 
further, that the town on the assumption that a private 
individual owned both the land and water of this spring, had 
entered into a contract with this person, to buy his land and 
water rights for $3,500, upon which the town had made 
several payments. The PWA engineer found that under 
Nevada water law the supposed owner had no legal right to 
the water, regardless of the fact that he had lived there for 
many years and used a small portion of the water for domestic 
purposes. The county officials were informed of this fact 
by the PWA and the town filed an application with the Ne- 
vada State engineer to appropriate i second-foot of the unused 
spring water as a protective measure, to insure the use of 
the water for the new proposed town waterworks system, 
thereby assuring a substantial financial saving to the town. 

TREATMENT PLANTS 

The PWA waterworks program has resulted in the instal- 
lation of many water-softening and iron-removal plants in 
accordance with recommendations of State departments of 
health, providing water of a more satisfactory quality and 
involving less expense in plumbing repairs and the cost of 
extra soap and effort required by hard water. Other plants 
provided for chlorination of water to insure killing of harmful 
bacteria, filtration for purity, and aeration to remove odors. 
In connection with PWA waterworks projects, more than 500 
treatment plants of various types have been constructed. 

An outstanding feature of the waterworks construction 
program is the large number of villages, towns, and unin- 
corporated communities which have been enabled to install 
public water systems. Hundreds of communities which had 
been unable to afford public waterworks, formed water dis- 
tricts or incorporated as villages or towns in order to obtain 



PWA aid in providing the advantages of a public water 
system to their citizens. An analysis of the PWA programs 
made on January 19, 1937? showed that 700 communities 
ranging in population from 200 to 6,000 installed complete 
new waterworks systems. Seventy-five percent of the com- 
munities had a population under 1,000. 

This has meant a major change in the life of many small 
communities and villages. Householders that formerly had 
to carry water in buckets and pails from back-yard wells, or 
from neighbors' wells, or in some instances from the village 
pump, now are assured not only of a dependable water 
supply but also of one that is safe. For such householders 
the old-fashioned methods of hauling water, with their 
drudgery, have been replaced by the simple device of turn- 
ing a domestic faucet. With all these advantages, the modern 
water-supply system is cheaper than installing individual 
wells, cisterns, and rain barrels. 

ECONOMIC BENEFITS 

Installation of public waterworks systems stimulates 
communal growth and industrial expansion. Typical of 
many small villages and towns, which like Webster, N. Y., 
have been assisted by PWA, is Tyronza, Ark. (population 
573, 1930 census). With a loan of $18,800 and a grant of 
$7,200, Tyronza constructed a complete new waterworks 
system by July 27, 1935. Between that date and March 
30, 1937, 2 new cotton gins, 3 business buildings, and 10 
houses were built in the town. 

Similarly, among other economic benefits is protection 
against loss by fire. The total value of the property furnished 
adequate water supply and fire protection by PWA water- 
works projects runs into the billions of dollars. 

The more nearly new waterworks systems and improve- 
ments and extensions to existing systems provide a dependa- 
ble and adequate water supply to all sections of a com- 
munity, reduces the possible loss from damage by fire, and 
lowers the fire-insurance premiums on dwellings and indus- 
trial establishments. A study made of the 700 new PWA 



I 76 



waterworks systems, costing $35,250,757, constructed in 
small towns and villages, showed that the saving in fire- 
insurance premiums alone amounted to $500,000 yearly. 

A survey of actual savings in fire-insurance premiums shows 
that in four States, benefiting from the PWA waterworks 
program, insurance rates on homes have been lowered from 
i o to 50 percent. In South Carolina, which had a very high 
fire-insurance rate, at least 28 communities which completed 
waterworks projects benefited from resultant savings of 34 
percent in fire-insurance premiums on brick mercantile 
buildings, 43 percent on brick residences, 36 percent on frame 
dwellings, and 10 percent on frame mercantile buildings. In 
Ohio similar savings have extended to 50 percent on brick 
residences and as much as 43 percent on frame dwellings. 
In West Virginia, where at least 12 towns obtained new 
waterworks through the PWA program, the fire-insurance 
premiums were reduced 24 and 16 percent, respectively, 
for brick and frame mercantile buildings, and 46 and 43 per- 
cent on brick and frame houses. In Texas, among towns 
completing PWA waterworks systems, the fire-insurance 
premiums were reduced as follows: 



Town 


Before 


After 


Annual 
premium 
saving 


Cost of im- 
provement 


Arp 


$1.00 

I. OO 

.90 
44 

. 20 

95 

' 3 A 
.76 

5* 
.42 
.99 
.58 
79 
98 
45 
52 
59 
.82 
.61 
34 


$0.72 
53 
49 
39 
J 7 
59 
34 
.72 
.46 
39 
49 
54 
55 
47 
37 
34 
.41 
.48 

44 
.24 


31,400 
i, 410 

2, 050 
450 
2,400 
1,440 
5 00 
360 
6OO 
4 20 

3,000 
360 
i, 600 
2,040 
800 
3,600 
2,880 
1,360 
i, 900 
8,000 


328, 665. 13 
60, 634. 97 

143, 120. 12 

24, 023. 86 
60, ooo. oo 
62, 678. 44 
28, 642. 57 
7, 290. 50 

20, 735. 20 
20, 303. 48 

88, 294. 77 
4, 625. 46 
50, 66 1. 65 
46, 666. 41 
38, 364. 84 
294, 952. 75 
108, 543. 25 
45, 357- 28 
32, 430- 35 
126, 181.68 


Big Sandy 


Bridgeport - 


Canadian 


Denison 


Glen Rose 


Goose Creek 


Grandview 


Hallettsville 


Hearne 


Humble 


Leonard 


Linden 


Naples 


Pasadena 


Pecos _ _ ________ 


Pittsburg 


Round Rock 


Santa Anna 


University Park 





177 



The benefits of the PWA-financed water systems built in 
the depression years have been many. Aside from millions 
of man-hours of employment, PWA waterworks have fur- 
nished a public supply of suitable water for the first time to a 
population 4 of more than 2,000,000. 

It must be borne in mind that nearly every one of these 
projects is income producing. In a number of cases, the 
local share of the cost is made up by the sale of revenue 
bonds, based on earned income, and not on general taxation. 

The new supplies of water with which have come savings 
in fire-insurance premiums, in plumbing maintenance, in 
costs of soap and other cleaning agents, have enabled the 
construction of new sewage systems, for water is used as the 
carrier of wastes. In many communities, the construction 
of a waterworks system under an early PWA program en- 
abled that same community to build a sewage system with 
Federal aid under a later program. About one-fifth of the 
waterworks projects should be classed as multiple projects, 
where the community undertook to furnish water and sewage 
services at the same time (see ch. XII). 

The Nation has made great strides toward furnishing the 
citizens with adequate supplies of water. But there are still 
many small, unincorporated communities which need and 
are preparing for public water-supply systems, while many 
larger communities find themselves ever in need of extensions 
and improvements. With the growing urbanization of the 
country and with the new industrial and domestic techniques 
calling for ever-increasing supplies of water, the importance 
of construction in this field of public-works service will 
continue. 

4 Preliminary estimate. 



178 



r.. 




SUPER PIERS FOR SUPER SHIPS. PWA MADE GRANTS TO AID THE CITY OF 
NEW YORK TO BUILD THREE PIERS COMPRISING THE LARGEST AND MOST 
MODERN SHIP TERMINAL. DOCKED AT THIS "INTERNATIONAL GRAND 

CENTRAL STATION" ARE (FROM TOP LEFT TO BOTTOM RIGHT) THE s. s. 

"EUROPA." "REX," "NORMANDIE," "GEORGIC" AND "BERENGARIA," FIVE 

OF THE LARGEST SHIPS IN THE WORLD 



180 



AMERICA BUILDS 



Chapter XIV 



Land 
Sea and Air 




A YOUNG country struggling 
to extend its frontiers west- 
ward to the Pacific, trying to weld a wilderness into a Nation 
fostered new techniques of transportation to attain its goal. 
As a result, American history is the pageant of the stage- 
coach, the pony express, the canal boat, clipper ship, the 
steamboat, the railroad, the automobile, the airplane. These 
have been America's answer to the challenge to develop a 
means of communication to hold together a new, great nation. 
The physical frontiers are nearly gone, but the pioneer 
spirit in transportation lives on. Time unrelenting in its 
passage demands greater speed on land, water, and in the 
air. The same spirit that led earlier Americans to develop 



181 



these new modes of transportation now demands constant 
improvement. Congestion in cities leads to improved traffic 
routes. Highways between crowded urban centers are being 
separated to provide ways for local and express traffic. 

Competition between air, road, rail, and water has raised 
standards of efficiency, comfort, and safety. PWA has con- 
tributed to improvements in each field according to the 
need, and the total is impressive. About one-third of all 
PWA funds have been allotted for transportation, providing 
for Federal and non-Federal projects with a total estimated 
cost of 31,910,159,33s. 1 

By far the greatest amount, $750,632,994, went for roads 
and highways. Typical of the benefits this type of im- 
provement has produced is the Oregon Coastal Highway. 

THE OREGON COASTAL HIGHWAY 

Mountains and sea combine to make the Oregon coast the 
mecca of tourists and sportsmen. Deer and game roam the 
wooded slopes of the Coast Range; trout and salmon fill the 
streams; the finest beaches in the world curve in long shining 
arcs from headland to headland, but the wide estuaries of 
the Pacific, cutting deep into the narrow strip of land between 
the shore and the coastal range put up such an effective 
barrier to travel that for many years, few visited the region. 

When the State highway commission, seeking to find a 
short route from California north, began the task of opening 
the coast highway, they found many sections still Indian and 
primitive. The few roads were merely reminders of the 
wagon trails of the pioneers. There was a suspicion that the 
pioneers had followed original animal trails, and on a clear 
day, some of these could still be seen. 

But the State highway commission did not have funds to 
pave the highway, and bridge the six rivers and bays that 
space the 200 miles between Newport and Gold Beach. 

At one point, unwary travelers frequently were trapped in 
quicksand, forced to hurry to firm land while their car slowly 

1 For summary of all PWA allotments for transportation projects see table 13 in the 
appendix. 



182 



disappeared. Native guides earned livelihoods by piloting 
strangers around the bog. At other points, the hardy motor- 
ist admired the view while the tide receded, and he could 
drive over the beach, less treacherous than the bogs. 

Estuaries were crossed by private ferries, which ran when 
the spirit and pecuniary motives moved them. Missing the 
evening boat meant waiting till morning. It was an expen- 
sive and unhurried trip. Few residents of the towns had 
ever visited neighboring villages. 

Gold Beach, Marshfield, and Newport, realizing their 
growth was retarded, formed the Oregon Coast Highway 
Association, to improve the coast road. The State went as 
far as it could, even completed the first of six proposed toll 
bridges, and took over the ferries in 1932. Then work 
stopped, and an application was made to the Reconstruction 
Finance Corporation for a loan. 

The application was still pending when PWA undertook 
to aid national recovery and made a loan of 33,993,800, 
and added an outright grant of $i ,608,200. The remaining 
bridges spanned Coos Bay, the Umpqua River, the Sinslaw 




THE UMPQUA RIVER BRIDGE AT REEDSPORT, OREG., ONE OF FIVE BRIDGES 
BUILT IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE NEW OREGON COASTAL HIGHWAY 



183 



River, Alsea Bay, and Yaquima Bay. Complex engineering 
problems had to be overcome, in the face of rushing tidal 
currents. Solid rock was found for some foundations. Other 
great bridges rest on piles. In some sections, tidal currents 
washed sand out from around foundations, but several thou- 
sand cords of brush checked the current, caused the sand to be 
redeposited. Over 182,000 barrels of cement, 12,300 tons 
of steel, 16,000,000 feet of lumber, 504,000 feet of piling, and 
2,272,575 man-hours of labor at construction sites went into 
those bridges. 

The residents of the towns along the coast joined in a great 
celebration at Newport, when the Yaquima Bay Bridge was 
opened in 1936, for the job was complete. Motorists found 
400 miles of uninterrupted, broad, smooth, paved highway 
from the California border to Astoria, Oreg. 

Visitors promptly took advantage of the new vacation land. 
Traffic more than doubled. Prosperity came to many com- 
munities in the wake of singing tires. Merchants, hotels, 
restaurants, tourist camps, towns, and beach resorts re- 
sounded to the merry chime of cash registers. 

ADVANTAGES OF GOOD ROADS 

Building new arteries of transportation like the Oregon 
Highway has had a profound effect on national life. Each 
year tourist travel becomes a greater factor in our economic 
system. Upon the back of the restless American people 
rides a great new industry. Today, the economic welfare of 
millions depends on roads. The wages of attendants at gaso- 
line stations, barbecue stands, restaurants, ice-cream huts, 
tourist camps, and farmers' produce stands are generated by 
the passing motorcade. 

But roads do more than bring prosperity on rolling rubber. 
Figures prove that roads put more direct labor per dollar to 
healthful work than any other major type of construction. 
Furthermore, they serve other economic and social purposes. 
For example, they open up markets to the farmers. PWA 
has built over 9,000 miles of farm-to-market roads at a cost of 
^93,889,513. Down these roads come a long and varied list of 



18 



produce, to grace the Nation's dinner tables, and help diver- 
sify the farm production, and on the same roads comes the 
farmer's wife to trade in the shopping centers. 

Still roads go beyond that, for roads mean better education 
to millions of young Americans. The centralized school is 
partly a product of good roads, for it depends on the ability 
to gather children from a large area. Those same roads also 
bring adults to the schools, which in the evenings often become 
community centers for adult life. 

Hospitals too have been made more available to rural 
America because of roads. All have heard of and admired the 
country doctor who would abandon his automobile to travel 
on foot or horseback to reach an isolated case and operate on 
the kitchen table under a kerosene light. Roads changed the 
situation, so that patients now can be brought to hospitals- 
many of them built with PWA funds following road improve- 
ments. 

In all, PWA has allotted $591,016,109 for the construction 
of roads and highways. Up to the start of the current pro- 
gram, this money had built, or rebuilt 36,628 miles of high- 
ways and roads in every part of the Nation. That is the 
equivalent of 12 new roads from coast to coast. 

The results of this great program can be seen in the highway 
reviews of the engineering magazines. Here headline after 
headline reads, "Pennsylvania eliminates hazards," "Rhode 
Island plans bypasses," "Connecticut plans arterials," "Vir- 
ginia betters surfaces," "Massachusetts work active," "Ken- 
tucky modernizes," "Illinois enters rebuilding era," 
"Colorado completes cross-State routes," "Washington im- 
proves design standards." 

Of course, not all of the work done in the States is the result 
of the PWA program, yet a large part of the improvement 
that has been made possible, in the last few years has been 
financed with PWA funds. 

Minnesota provides a typical example. With PWA funds 
under the supervision of the Bureau of Public Roads, Minne- 
sota has built 2,526 miles of roads and highways costing 
$13,862,443. 



Now PWA did not confine its attention to rural areas. 
Traffic can get just as hopelessly mired in city streets as in 
country lanes. Astoria, N. Y., only three-fourths of a mile 
from Manhattan's teeming millions, was just as isolated 
before Triborough Bridge was built as Astoria, Oreg., before 
the coast highway was completed. 

TRAFFIC SOLUTION 

The scope of this work is shown in New York City, where 
PWA has helped considerably to remake the transportation 
facilities of the Nation's largest city. The great $40,000,000 
Lincoln Tunnel under the Hudson was one of PWA's early 
projects followed by the $5 8,365,000 East River Tubes still 
under construction. Triborough Bridge, along with half a 
dozen smaller bridges, opened new arteries in the city's 
stagnating traffic stream. A $25,000,000 allotment com- 
pleted miles of city-owned subway that had stood an empty 
shell until PWA funds opened it to use. Staten Island elimi- 
nated a score of grade crossings that had collected a yearly 
toll of accidents. PWA funds are now building the great 
East River Drive and Belt Parkways, almost 40 miles of new- 
type highway destined to speed traffic around congested 
centers. 

The New York picture is not complete without PWA's 
great superliner piers a new International Grand Central 
Terminal for ocean-going vessels, the widening and deepening 
of harbor channels with PWA funds, and the electrification 
of the Pennsylvania divisions which helps speed visitors 
and commerce to and from the city. It is a scene in which 
PWA could be allegorically depicted as striking the traffic 
chains which bound the city. 

In a thousand other cities and towns, PWA funds have 
installed street lights, traffic signals, safety islands; eliminated 
grade crossings, built new streets, repaired others; built new 
bridges, tunnels, subways; in fact every imaginable improve- 
ment to the- Nation's urban gasoline-powered transport 
system. In this category PWA has helped build 1,400 
projects costing $599,046,187. 

186 



From coast to coast, such projects as the Alameda-Contra 
Costa Tunnel in California, the Davenport Bridge across the 
Mississippi, the Chicago subway, the Deer Isle Bridge in 
Maine, the Overseas Highway in Florida, the Mobile Tunnel 
in Alabama, are lasting monuments to PWA aid in depression 
years. 

Perhaps the most notable of these is the subway project in 
Chicago which PWA funds made possible after the City 
Fathers had discussed the matter and built up hopes for 
almost half a century. The only city of its size in the world 
without such a convenience, Chicago now plans to relieve 
the congestion in its world-famous "Loop" by 7.2 miles of 
underground passageway as a start. This $40,000,000 proj- 
ect for which PWA made a grant of $18,000,000, is now under 
construction, bringing closer to reality the desires of several 
generations of Chicago citizens. Completion is expected 
in 1940. 

PWA's grant of $5,709,000 toward a $25,349,000 addition 
to the subways of New York has made 18 miles of empty 




m 



RAILROAD UNDERPASS AT SEATTLE, WASH. OVER 600 RAILWAY CROSSINGS 
HAVE BEEN ELIMINATED WITH AID FROM THE PWA PROGRAMS 



187 



shell that stood idle since the depression set into action a 
latent transportation system. The allotment provided for 
stations, tracks, signal equipment, ventilation, turnstiles, 
and many other things necessary to complete a subway line. 

In Philadelphia, a PWA allotment of $2,782,640 helped 
build 2.26 miles of rapid transit lines across the Delaware 
River Bridge that connects Philadelphia, Pa., and Camden, 
N.J. 

PWA with a view to the new needs of the Nation has 
joined in helping Pennsylvania to build the new State "dream 
highway." One hundred and sixty-two miles from Harris- 
burg to Pittsburgh, without an intersection in its entire 
length, this new $68,000,000 road has been planned to speed 
traffic over an abandoned railroad right-of-way. Eliminating 
all grades over 3 percent, the road is to plunge through six 
tunnels in the mountains. Outside of the tunnels it is to be 
a four-lane road, separated by center grass parkways. The 
plans point the way for future types of express roads to meet 
new demands of the Nation. This project has been designed 
to be a self-liquidating toll facility, as are many of PWA's 
great new traffic-handling machines. 

GRADE-CROSSING ELIMINATION 

Along with the new highways and bridges, PWA has aided 
in eliminating one of the Nation's greatest menaces the 
railway grade crossing. Under the $400,000,000 statutory 
allocation of PWA funds to the Bureau of Public Roads for 
highways, 492 grade separations were built. In addition, 
communities and States have applied for PWA aid for 40 
projects costing $36,292,483 to eliminate 117 of additional 
death traps. 

AID TO RAILROADS 

Roads have and are remaking the map of the Nation, but 
the major cities are still strung, like beads, along the shining 
steel lines of the railroads. The mightiest industries are 
spiked to the cross ties, for the railroads are still superior in 
mass transportation of heavy goods for long distances. 



188 



For many years railroads had little competition. But they 
suddenly awoke to find the automobile, the truck, and the 
airplane cutting into traffic, and their own systems so handi- 
capped by antiquated and durable equipment that they 
could not meet the needs of a Nation demanding speed, 
convenience, comfort, and flexibility. 

PWA sought to help the railroads out. Being private 
corporations, they were not eligible for grants, but PWA 
made loans totaling upward of $200,000,000 to 32 railroads 
for improvements so that they might catch up. 

The outstanding allotment was the $31,900,000 loan to 
the Pennsylvania Railroad 2 for completion of electrification of 
its lines between New York and Washington, and $6,290,000 
for purchasing electric locomotives, bringing the two cities 
I hour closer to each other. On many another railroad, 
the Diesel-powered, lightweight streamlined trains, such as 
the Rebel of the Gulf, Mobile & Northern Railroad in the 
South, and the Flying Yankee in New England, that daily 
flash thousands of people from city to city, are the results of 
PWA loans. Still other railroads used PWA funds to iron 
"kinks" out of roadbeds, improve rights-of-way. 

These allotments, made in the early days of PWA, enabled 
the railroads, normally one of the Nation's great employers, 
to recall many men to their jobs. In July 1934 nearly 70,000 
men were working in on-the-site employment in work financed 
by PWA railroad loans. And the majority of these loans, 
$115,000,000 of them, were sold to the public at a profit of 
$4,534,000 to the Government. Another $50,000,000 were 
resold to issuers at a premium to the Government of $282,000. 
Out of the total of $200,974,500 of railroad securities, only 
$36,000,000 are still held by the Government. 

WATER TRANSPORTATION 

Water still provides the cheapest form of transportation 
for tonnage. Long ago, the Federal Government recognized 

'Total loans to the Pennsylvania Railroad amounted to 370,165,000 for completing elec- 
trification of its New York to Washington division, building 68 electric locomotives and 
7,000 new freight cars, and purchasing 33 electric locomotives and 98,787 tons of rail. 

189 



the significance of water transportation and aided in the 
construction of lighthouses, harbors, and canals. PWA 
carried on this work with allotments of $278,693,815 for aids 
to navigation. 

Practically all major harbors in the east, south, and west 
coasts, and in the Great Lakes had channels widened and 
deepened or other work done by PWA funds allotted to the 
Army Engineers Corps. Bigger ships came in closer and 
safer, guided by lighthouses and radio beams, PWA built. 

In dredging rivers and in channel rectification, the most 
important work was done on the Mississippi River, from its 
mouth to St. Paul-Minneapolis, and on the Missouri, Ohio, 
and Illinois Rivers. All-year facilities are being provided for 
the movement of ocean-going vessels between the Gulf and 
the Great Lakes. For this work PWA allotted more than 
$100,000,000 for 96 projects. Improvement of facilities in 
canals and channels is typified by the Cape Cod Canal; 
deepening and widening of channels in New York Harbor, 
in Great Lakes ports, and along the Gulf coast. 

PWA has furthered the construction of dams and locks on 
the Mississippi River and its tributaries. The Fort Peck 
Dam on the upper Missouri is one of the largest and most 
important for which PWA has allotted more than $49,000,000. 
This will insure navigation on the Missouri River the year 
round. Bonneville Dam in the State of Washington may be 
mentioned again, as may many others heretofore mentioned. 

Wharves, piers, docks, and waterside cold-storage plants and 
warehouses have greatly added to the facilities for handling 
foreign and coastwise shipping. New York constructed three 
superpiers costing $5,000,000 with the aid of PWA and pro- 
vided facilities for handling with dispatch the passengers and 
freight of such liners as the Queen Mary and Normandie. 
Others are typified in the facilities constructed at Morehead 
City, N. C.; Mobile, Ala.; Gulfport, Miss.; and Houston and 
Corpus Christi, Tex. 

PWA has allotted $37,550,462 for 579 projects to provide 
new Coast Guard ships, and Coast Guard stations to protect 
water-borne commerce. 



IQO 



THE AIRWAYS 

Finally, in this summary of PWA aid to the communica- 
tion system, there is the newest medium of transport the air. 
Destined to become the most important medium in a speeded 
up world, PWA has aided here also. 

As the volume of traffic by air increases the need for air- 
ports and safety devices become more imperative. Allot- 
ments have been made for 354 Federal projects costing 
314,773,008 to improve landing fields, for route lighting, 
radio beams and mapping, and for developing new safety 
devices and new techniques. Most interesting of the latter 
are the three wind tunnels at Langley Field, Va. In one, a 
full-sized airplane may be tested in flight, in a giant wind 
tunnel that generates a gale of 200 miles an hour. In other 
tunnels wind velocities of 400 to 750 miles an hour are 
preparing for future air transportation at speeds of tomorrow. 

On the shore of the historic Potomac River, a few miles 
from the White House, Federal agencies have undertaken the 
construction of a 75O-acre air terminal, which is designed not 
only to serve the Capital with aviation transportation facili- 
ties for land and sea planes, but also as a model for the rest 
of the country. This new airport provides four paved run- 
ways, 150 to 200 feet wide and at least 5,000 feet long, with 
unobstructed approaches in eight directions at flight angles 
as flat as i-to-4O, together with necessary drainage, lighting, 
fencing, and other facilities. The plans made also include a 
large terminal building and at least one hangar w r ith auxiliary 
service buildings. 

At the same time local communities have undertaken 30 
projects mostly airport construction costing 3 10,645, 922. 
The local governments have put up 36, 082, 669 to win Federal 
grants of $4,563, 253. An outstanding example is the fine 
new field with shops, hangars, and administrative buildings 
at Providence, R. I., which although unfinished at the time, 
withstood the disastrous hurricane of September 1938. 

Of course, all projects not completed before the Civil 
Aeronautics Authority was created in June 1938 were asked 
to obtain approval of that body before final payment could 



191 



be made by PWA. Under the current program all applica- 
tions were approved by CAA before PWA allotments were 
recommended. 

On land, sea, and in the air, PWA has helped the Nation's 
all-important transport mechanism to try to catch up with 
the demands of a new day. 



192 



' if 
I I 











CITY HALL SKYSCRAPER. KANSAS CITY, MO., CONSTRUCTED THIS STRIKING 
BUILDING WITH PWA ASSISTANCE 



AMERICA BUILDS 



Chapter XV 



For Government 

Business 




THE vast majority of PWA allot- 
ments have been made for the serv- 
ices which governments have traditionally supplied, such as 
roads, water and sewage systems, hospitals, and schools the 
services that people everywhere undertake in common. 

People today have come to expect government to furnish a 
vast number of other services "to establish justice, insure 
domestic tranquillity, to provide for the common defense, 
promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of 
liberty * * *" 

This demand for public services has thrown a tremendous 
burden on government machinery and on existing facilities 
for handling the business of government. Administrative, 



legislative, and judicial tasks have multiplied. By and large 
the housing of these functions in an efficient, decent manner 
has not kept pace with increased functions and duties. 

Among the thousands of applications which have come to 
PWA, there are many that reflect the needs of the country in 
this respect. They have shown public business carried on in 
buildings designed for the needs of a half a century ago. 

A COUNTY COURTHOUSE 

Alameda County, Calif., decided that the Hall of Records 
(the county courthouse) in Oakland, which had been built in 
the 1 870*8, had outlasted its usefulness. The citizens found 
in their Hall of Records no source of civic pride. 

It was such a little courthouse for such a big and wealthy 
county. It was so little that the citizens had to pay $25,000 
a year extra to rent space for essential functions in buildings 
scattered around Oakland. Sixty years of records bowed the 
floors. Since the structure preceded modern plumbing and 
electric lighting, the building was unsanitary and uncomfort- 
able. Although it was red brick outside, the inside was a 
wooden shell a fire hazard that may have burned, destroying 
all the valuable records with it. 

A Federal grant of $462,000 started a new $1,988,000 
eleven-story building soaring skyward in 1934. Into this 
new structure were gathered all the scattered administrative 
activities l of the Alameda County government. Although 
big enough to house all officials, the county officials, having 
witnessed the tremendous rise of services required of the 
government, provided for later additions. 

Alameda County's new courthouse is only one of 630 State, 
county, and municipal buildings and city halls costing 
$148,374,660 which have been built and for which PWA 
made allotments. This does not include one new State 
capitol. 

1 Twelve courtrooms for the superior courts, i justice courtroom, district attorney office, 
law library, county board of supervisors, and offices for county clerk, registrar, recorder, 
treasurer, auditor, tax collector, assessor, coroner, surveyor, accountant, purchasing agent, 
development commission, charity commission, and library. Also superintendent of schools, 
board of education, bureau of weights and measures, public administrator's office, adult 
probation office. 



PWA was called on for funds for a State capitol because of 
what happened on the night of April 25, 1935. On that night 
Salem, Oreg., was roused by clanging bells, and screaming 
sirens. The State capitol was in flames. Firemen and citi- 
zens alike battled to halt the blaze which swept through the 
beautiful Georgian structure. The next morning found the 
building and most of its valuable records in ashes. 

OREGON CAPITOL 

That same morning, while Oregon took stock of its loss, 
PWA officials called the Governor and offered to help the 
State rebuild its capitol. A short time later a new building 
was rising on ground still dark from the ashes of the old one. 
Oregon's new capitol was built from a design selected in a 
Nation-wide competition. 

Built of warm white marble, transported across the con- 
tinent from quarries in Maine, and topped by a golden 
statue depicting the Oregon pioneer, the capitol, while of a 
new architectural style, is typically American. More im- 
portant documents in its vaults are forever safe from the 
ravages of fire. 

The financial assistance of PWA, of course, has been always 
as readily available to small communities as large ones. This 
has been true of schools, and hospitals, and waterworks, and 
it has also been true of city halls and courthouses. 

Featured in a nationally distributed newspaper cartoon as 
a town without a courthouse, a church or a railroad, Gaines- 
ville, county seat of Ozark County, Mo., has, with PWA aid, 
lost that dubious claim to fame. The town applied for and 
received approval of a $16,380 grant toward the $36,400, 
two-story courthouse and jail erected in the center of the city 
square. 

In many small towns, municipal structures house a variety 
of services. When the old combination fire department, 
municipal building, police station and jail in Delaware, Ohio, 
burned down, city offices were lodged in an abandoned high 
school; the city prisoners were boarded in the county jail; 
and the fire department lodged in rented garage space. A 



197 



new fireproof building now provides a fire station and dormi- 
tory, a police garage, city office, jail, council chamber, engi- 
neer's offices. 

POLICE AND FIRE STATIONS 

Coupled with the prime governmental functions housed in 
new city halls are such services as police and fire protection. 
Increased safety for millions of urban and suburban dwellers 
has been provided through the aid given modern facilities for 
these arms of government. In addition to the police and fire 
stations included in city halls, PWA has made grants for more 
than 315,315,500 worth of municipal safety facilities such as 
new fire and police stations, police radio-communication sys- 
tems and fire-alarm systems. 

It is hard to calculate the dollar return from these improved 
protective facilities. But in many cases cities have been able 
to obtain substantial reductions in their theft and fire insur- 
ance rates paid by their citizens after the new equipment was 
installed. Charlotte, N. C., with $41,000,000 invested in 
200 cotton mills, cotton-oil plants, knitting mills, refining 
plants and other industries had much at stake. Yet the 
application to PWA stated that some sections of the city 
were a mile and a half from the nearest fire-alarm box. An 
allotment provided 126 new alarm boxes, which have resulted 
in reductions in insurance rates. 

Modern fire stations and equipment have been made pos- 
sible in dozens of cities. In Des Moines the central fire 
station was located in a congested area so that there were 
consistent delays in answering calls and an ever-present 
danger of serious accidents as fire equipment was being moved 
through heavy traffic. A new station was built in a location 
from which most parts of the city can be reached with 
minimum delay. 

PWA has also improved police-communications systems. 
In Boston a PWA grant enabled the city to install a radio 
transmitter, and place receiving equipment in the squad 
cars, as well as provide for the complicated coordination 
system which enabled headquarters to keep tab on the loca- 



198 



tion of each car and check how quickly calls for aid are 
answered, and send additional help if necessary. 

Many of the new police headquarters built under the 
program have modern crime-detection laboratories, dormi- 
tories, and garages for equipment, and also provide temporary 
jail facilities. 

JAILS AND PRISONS 

Many of the jails replaced by new structures have been 
"disgraceful," according to the applications. In Atlanta 
the city jail was both inadequate and overcrowded. Before 
the new structure was erected, prisoners slept on the floors 
of the multiple cells or "tanks," when the cells were crowded. 
Police headquarters were likewise cramped. A new five- 






JK: 

f ! ! i \y..vi 
p i ! ~jiBi 




THE NEW CIVIC CENTER IN OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA., SHOWING THE CITY 
BUILDING, THE MUNICIPAL AUDITORIUM, AND THE PUBLIC SAFETY BUILD- 
ING, CONSTRUCTED IN THE HEART OF THE CITY ON LAND FORMERLY USED 

BY THE RAILROADS 



199 



story structure provides modern office and laboratory space, 
a jo-car garage, and four floors of cells. 

One application gave a grim picture of conditions in the 
old Barton County, Mo., jail. 

Jail erected shortly after the Civil War, of pine boards laid flat and 
spiked together. Jail always wet and moldy, and prisoners' shoes fre- 
quently drop off. Inmates bathe in a washtub and no hot water. Heat- 
ing by stoves. Vermin, rats, and mice abound, and rats had to be killed 
with a target rifle. Jail breaks are frequent and at will. No fit place for 
any prisoners * * * Jail bars easily cut in two with corset steel 
handmade files. Practically every grand jury for 30 years has condemned 
the jail as unsafe and unsanitary, and has recommended a new jail. 

The Barton County jail was replaced by a modern $36,363 
structure. 

For the more permanent guests of law-enforcement agen- 
cies, PWA has provided new prisons and penitentiaries, 
including additions and improvements to some of the best 
known penal institutions. At Sing Sing, Auburn, Joliet, 
Atlanta, and Alcatraz prisoners are housed in new PWA- 
financed buildings equipped with the latest tool-proof steel 
bars and safety and locking devices. In all, PWA has made 
allotments for 126 non-Federal prisons and jails costing 
$24,478,700 (excluding those in police headquarters and 
courthouses), and for 75 Federal prison projects costing 
$14,914,000, including new correctional institutions for short- 
term Federal prisoners in Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, 
Texas, and Indiana. 

AUDITORIUMS AND Civic CENTERS 

An enterprise commonly undertaken by cities is the pro- 
vision of civic centers and meeting halls. Auditoriums fre- 
quently have been included in city halls. Such meeting 
places vary in size all the way from small rooms in rural 
town halls, through the thousands of auditoriums, gymna- 
siums in school projects which are utilized as community 
centers, to such great civic centers as the ones in Kansas 
City (see ch. XVIII) and in Oklahoma City. 

Oklahoma City has risen, as its citizens say, from tepees 
to towers in 50 years. Oklahoma City, like many other cities 



200 



in the Southwest, grew so rapidly that it was almost impos- 
sible for public building to keep up with its growth, much 
less to be planned ahead. 

In the I92o's Oklahoma City decided to do some planning. 
For one thing the city was cut in half by railroad tracks 
which ran right through the heart of town. Removal of the 
tracks would solve what otherwise was an almost insuperable 
traffic problem, and open up a new business area. In a trade 
with the railroads, Oklahoma City obtained the right-of- 
way, equal to about four city blocks in the center of the 
town, and the railroads routed their tracks through the out- 
skirts of the city. 

The city planned a coordinated civic center which would 
contain a city hall, a municipal auditorium, and a court- 
house and city jail. In 1935, with PWA allotments of 
^1,462,491, work on the four buildings started simultaneously. 

Built of gray limestone, surrounded by landscaped lawns, 
walks, and fountains, brilliantly illuminated at night, the 
civic center development is today one of the most impres- 
sive sights in America. 

Buffalo's convention hall and music hall and the audi- 
toriums in Topeka, Kans., Fremont, Nebr., Asheville, N. C., 
Mobridge, S. Dak., Barre, Vt., Charleston, W. Va., and 
Hammond, Ind., are examples of what some cities are doing 
to provide meeting places, as well as to assist local trades by 
attracting conventions to their cities. Typical of the in- 
creasingly popular community centers in smaller towns is 
the new building at Gadsden, Ala. Before the community 
center was built there were no adequate facilities for town 
meetings, banquets, sports events. Neither was there a 
swimming pool within the city. Lumping all their needs 
together, Gadsden provided a hall seating 2,000 for meetings, 
banquets, conventions, and sport events. The center also 
includes a large swimming pool, and a refurbished golf 
course. The hall contains stage equipment for theatricals, 
offices and club rooms for civic clubs. The center is also 
used by the National Guard which has offices and drills 
there. 



201 



ARMORIES 

In other cities, armories are used for meetings and conven- 
tions. Outstanding among the newly built armories is the 
National Guard Armory at Minneapolis, Minn. In 1929 the 
old armory, which had been built more than 30 years before, 
was condemned, leaving no suitable space for the use of the 
area's 18 National Guard units which were scattered through- 
out the city in rented quarters. 

The State in 1933 established a special commission for the 
building of armories and an application was filed with PWA. 
The new building, which cost $902,000, contains a main 
drill hall with balconies seating 3,500. Supply, staff, and 
company rooms are available for each unit and there are two 
rifle ranges in the basement. The armory has also been 
useful as a center for sports events, which bring an income of 
$16,000 a year. This, with revenue contributed by the War 
and Navy Departments, the State, and the city of Minne- 
apolis, brings the total income to $76,000 while the annual 




A MODERN NOTE IN FIRE STATIONS. DES MOINES, IOWA, HAS BUILT THIS 
STATION TO HOUSE SOME OF THE CITY'S FIRE FIGHTERS AND THEIR 

EQUIPMENT 



202 



cost of operating and maintaining the armory is only $28,000. 
All together PWA provided allotments of $6,650,258 to 
assist in the construction of 50 auditoriums (not including 
those built in connection with schools, city halls, etc.) 
costing $16,857,400, and 52 armories costing $13,167,800. 

MEMORIAL STRUCTURES 

Like the armories, many memorial structures built with 
PWA assistance are being used as civic centers. The base 
of the towering Sam Houston Memorial in Texas contains 
assembly rooms and banquet halls that are used for civic 
functions. The Will Rogers Memorial at Fort Worth seats 
10,000 at athletic events, rodeos, track meets and horse shows. 

A number of the projects, such as memorials, are less 
typical of PWA projects in general. Nevertheless, these 
miscellaneous structures are socially desirable and of per- 
manent value. Many of them are set up as income-producing 
enterprises designed to increase the wealth of the community 
or to provide greater opportunities for residents. 

PUBLIC MARKETS 

As an example, PWA has helped 21 communities provide 
adequate markets where the farmers may sell their produce 
to housewives at reasonable prices. 

In Columbia, S. C., where PWA financed a new market to 
replace one which had been in service for many years and 
which was no longer satisfactory, the rental of stalls brings 
in approximately $4,824 a year although all charges, including 
bond interest, maintenance, and depreciation amount to only 
$3,400 annually. 

The oldest and most famous institutions of its kind in the 
United States is the French Market at New Orleans. Under 
the flags of three nations over two historic centuries, the 
market has been the chief retail center of the city. Today, 
in addition to being a shopping place for gourmets, it is a 
great wholesale market where farmers and fishermen sell 
their wares. Every day trucks arrive, laden with Florida 
cucumbers, Louisiana peppers, Texas broccoli, others with 



203 



red snapper and mackerel from the Gulf, shrimp from the 
bays, soft shell crabs from the bayous. 

A series of low buildings stretching for several blocks, the 
market by 1936 was old and, as such, difficult to keep as clean 
and sanitary as the health authorities insisted it should be. 
PWA made a loan of $300,000 to a nonprofit association which 
operates the market and by 1938 the rehabilitation of the 
historic old buildings was complete. The buildings were 
strengthened and extended, sanitary floors installed, and 
other improvements, including sheds, for the long lines of 
trucks which appear at the market every morning before 
dawn, were made but the original lines of the buildings 
have been kept intact. 

MISCELLANEOUS PROJECTS 

Further examination of the list of PWA projects reveals 
many another business carried on by local governments for 
the common good. In Mobile, Ala., the State built a cold- 
storage warehouse as a revenue project. In Port Lavaca, 
Tex., the municipality built a cannery so that its citizens 
could obtain their share of the Gulf coast oyster and shrimp 
canning business. The $78,120 in revenue bonds issued to 
finance the local share of the cost of the project are being 
paid off out of the income from the processing and canning 
plant, ice plant, and the equipment to handle poultry as 
well as fish. 

The city of Stockton, Calif., received an allotment to 
help build a $60,000 cotton warehouse, to be leased to the 
Port Authority to afford adequate facilities for handling, 
warehousing, baling and shipping of California's long staple 
cotton. The project is of benefit to farmers and pickers in 
the State and is scheduled to pay for itself in 20 years. 

Custer State Park Board in South Dakota applied for aid 
in building a State-operated hotel in the Black Hills to 
replace one that had been destroyed by fire. The new three- 
story hostelry is now being used by tourists visiting Sylvan 
Lake near Mount Rushmore. 

Not all of these miscellaneous projects have been income 



204 



producing in themselves but most of them not only have been 
regarded as socially valuable, but have a definite and vital 
influence on local economic conditions. Tourist trade, for 
example, has been fostered by the construction of boardwalks 
at Long Beach, N. Y., and Cape May, N. J. 

The long and interesting list of enterprises undertaken by 
communities shows America at work during the depression 
on undertakings for the common good. The list includes 
warehouses, shops, abattoirs, markets, farm buildings, oyster 
hatcheries, bird farms, bandshells, fences, refrigerator plants, 
and dozens of others. PWA was deluged with applications 
for this type of project, many of them proposed by over- 
enthusiastic private promoters who in instances had conceived 
the idea of letting Uncle Sam hazard the taxpayers money in 
speculative ventures. Only a few were able to meet PWA's 
rigid requirements. In all, these miscellaneous projects, 
though interesting, amounted to only i percent of the total 
PWA program. 

(For a summary of PWA non-Federal allotments for city 
and town halls, courthouses, auditoriums, armories, and other 
Government buildings and miscellaneous structures, see table 
14 in the appendix.) 



205 




WILLIAMSBURG HOUSES IN NEW YORK, THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE SLUM- 
CLEARANCE AND LOW-RENT HOUSING PROJECT IN THE UNITED STATES, 
WHICH PROVIDES HOMES FOR 1,622 FAMILIES IN LOW-WAGE GROUPS. 
THIS PROJECT SUPPLANTED ONE OF THE MOST BLIGHTED SLUM AREAS 

IN BROOKLYN 



AMERICA BUILDS 



Chapter XVI 



Public Housing 




A TRIP downtown for the young 
ladies of Peachtree Street, Atlanta, 
had one discouraging aspect. To get from their homes in 
that noted sector to the shopping district by the quickest 
route they had to pass a slum. Its gray, dilapidated shanties, 
with back yards full of trash, lay adjacent to the campus of 
the Georgia Institute of Technology, at the doorway of down- 
town Atlanta. 

It was a notorious area. On the books of the police pre- 
cinct, on the rolls of the fire department, in the dossiers of 
social workers, in the files of the chamber of commerce, the 
district was docketed as Atlanta's Problem Area No. I. To 
the health department it was a source of potential epidemic. 
To the police it was an area in which officers walked in 
pairs, and which weekly yielded arrests far out of proportion 
in their number to the size of the area. Periodically the 
fire department, after heavy rains, would be called to send 



207 



trucks and men to carry inhabitants out of flooded shanties. 

It was a low-lying, ugly collection of buildings and junk 
piles. Its houses were fantastic. Rotting boards hung pre- 
cariously by single nails; sheets of tin covered up holes in the 
walls. Plumbing was out of doors. It was a blight on the 
city and the blight was not static it was moving glacierlike 
toward high-priced business property, carrying depression of 
values along with it steadily and surely. 

That was in 1933. By the end of 1936 the young ladies of 
Peachtree Street could have rubbed their eyes in amazement 
to see what had happened to Atlanta's prize slum. The 
shacks and swampy yards had vanished, giving way to trim 
brick apartment buildings and group houses with clean-cut 
lines, set amid pleasant green lawns. 

Within the buildings were bright, comfortable, and airy 
apartments and homes. Sensibly arranged, simple quarters 
were occupied by tenants who formerly had lived under over- 
crowded, insanitary conditions. There was good equipment 
in the kitchens, and the basements contained central laundries 
and clean, dry storage space. 

For here stood Techwood, built by PWA, the first public 
slum clearance and low-rent housing project in the history of 
the United States. It was the first product of the long cam- 
paign to start slum clearance in America on a worthwhile 
scale and to provide decent public housing for people with low 
incomes. It was the forerunner of many other housing 
projects, the bellwether of a movement that suddenly was to 
make sweeping progress in a comparatively short period. 

PIONEERING IN HOUSING 

No program of the PWA, with the possible exception of the 
power program, aroused more controversy than did its hous- 
ing activities. Yet no other phase of its work enabled one 
branch of social progress in America to take such amazing 
strides. Within 3 short years more was accomplished by 
PWA to establish good public housing for the underprivileged 
in the United States than had been brought about in the 
preceding three centuries. 



208 



While the enlistment of the Federal Government with 
towns and cities to provide public works was a new theory, 
nevertheless the type of public improvements in general 
were familiar things. But in the field of housing, PWA 
brought forth something new in the nature of public works. 
Before PWA appeared on the scene, there was no such thing 
as a federally aided public housing project to be found in the 
United States. Housing, for better or for worse, was a 
matter left to private enterprise and philanthropy. This, 
despite the arduous labors of the pioneers whose work with 
city plans and zoning ordinances opened the public mind 
toward good housing. 

PWA was placed in the field of public housing through 17 
words in the 6,ooo-word National Industrial Recovery Act 
of 1933. Those words authorized the Administrator to 
include in his program the "construction, alteration, or 
repair under public regulation or control of low-cost housing 
and slum-clearance projects." These few, simple words 
contained the kernel of the idea which bloomed into America's 
first housing program. PWA's housing activities cost only 
a fragment of the $3? 3 00,000,000 appropriated by the 
Recovery Act. But when PWA turned its housing program 
over to the United States Housing Authority in November 
of 1937, public housing was a going concern. Fifty-one 
large-scale projects 1 either were occupied or were being 
made ready for tenants; 29 States had passed laws authorizing 
their cities to engage in public-housing enterprises, and others 
were preparing to enact similar legislation. Sentiment for 
public housing was growing like a snowball on a hill, and a 
public-housing policy had been adopted as the law of the 
land. 

LIMITED-DIVIDEND HOUSING 

The first decision of PWA in regard to exercising the 
authority of the housing provision in the act was that private 
enterprise should be given a chance to do everything it could. 
It laid down a policy that it would advance loans at 4 per- 

1 See table 15 in appendix for complete list of PWA housing projects. All of these have 
been transferred to the U. S. Housing Authority. 



2O9 



cent to private sponsors who would form "limited dividend" 
housing corporations to erect and operate projects. The 
sponsors were to put up at least 15 percent of the necessary 
capital and limit their profits to 6 percent on their own 
investment. 

Results of this policy were not impressive. Only 7 projects 
out of the more than 500 submitted were approved. Their 
rents were above the economic reach of slum families, and 
without exception the projects were erected on vacant land, 
thereby clearing no slums. PWA recognized as a funda- 
mental principle that slums should be cleared and that the 
rents of any new replacement housing should be at levels 
slum-dwelling families could afford. For that reason it was 
decided that PWA itself would erect housing in those cities 
which requested it. 

OBJECTIVES 

The impelling need for some program to deal with the 
growing slum problem in the United States could not be 
evaded. 

The poison of slums was infecting nearly every city in the 
Nation although the physical structure varied with localities 
and customs. In Memphis and New Orleans there had 
developed "arks"- long, two-story structures with 16 or 
more Negro families living on each floor, each family having 
a single room entered from a balcony hanging miraculously 
to the side of the building. In Philadelphia there had 
evolved the notorious "bandbox" or "highhat" houses- 
three small rooms arranged vertically, with a narrow, spiral 
stairway in one corner. If there were any exposure, it 
usually occurred on a narrow, frequently crowded, alley. In 
New York, half a million people continued to live in old-law 
tenements. In San Antonio, Mexican workers huddled in 
"corrals," long low buildings with single rooms inhabited by 
whole families. In Chicago, the storied Loop was surrounded 
by concentric rings of dingy buildings many of which dated 
from the great fire. 



2 10 



It was the object of PWA's Housing Division to clear out 
as many of these slum areas as practicable and to replace 
them with substantial housing. Obviously, with the small 
amount of money at its disposal, the Housing Division could 
not attempt to do a thorough job of ridding American cities 
of all their slums. It was therefore decided that as many of 
the worst sections as possible be eliminated and new projects 
erected in their place, on the theory that if the idea was good, 
it would grow of its own accord. As it proved, PWA was to 
demonstrate the value and feasibility of public housing. 

Three fundamental considerations dictated the type of new 
housing to be constructed. These were the health, comfort 
and safety of the families who were to live in the new projects. 
It was determined that in order to assure sunlight and air, 
buildings would cover only a small portion of the total site; 
that durable fireproof construction should be employed 
throughout; and that although living quarters in the buildings 
should be simple, they should be carefully arranged to allow 
for privacy and reasonable comfort. 

First projects to go ahead were in Atlanta, because a group 
of civic leaders there early interested the Housing Division 
in two projects. Cleveland, a housing-minded municipality, 
sponsored three developments. Other projects were formu- 
lated for Cincinnati, Ohio; Indianapolis, Ind.; and Mont- 
gomery, Ala. Purchase of the slum properties was started, 
and was carried out by direct negotiation or by condemnation 
proceedings friendly and otherwise. 

Techwood homes in Atlanta was typical of early Housing 
Division projects. On 25 acres of land, 23 buildings contain- 
ing 604 living units in apartments and group houses were 
erected. They cover one-fifth of the site and are of brick and 
concrete construction in a modified Georgian style of archi- 
tecture. Living units consist of three-, four- and five-room 
apartments and five- and six-room group houses, equipped 
with electric lights, electric cooking ranges, and mechanical 
refrigeration. The development includes social rooms and 
central laundries. Contract for the demolition of the existing 
structures was signed in December 1934. 



2 I I 



OBSTACLES IN THE WAY 

The Housing Division pushed a difficult construction 
program through a swarm of obstacles. Real-estate interests 
who felt the Government was intruding in a field where ex- 
clusive rights belonged to private enterprise instigated opposi- 
tion. Owners of slum properties who had been extracting 
inordinate returns from their rookeries saw their chance to 
continue such operations imperiled. Professional obstruc- 
tionists, who deplored the slums in one breath inveighed in 
another against Federal action to put housing reforms into 
effect. Housing advocates whose particular theories as to 
design and site treatment were not being followed took to 
their pens to heap the program with lofty contempt. Prac- 
tical-minded individuals who wanted to stop the program 
took to the courts and in the famous Louisville case won a 
decision that the Federal Government had no right to make 
use of eminent domain to acquire land for local housing proj- 
ects, on the ground that housing projects did not serve a 
public purpose in its fullest sense. Setbacks also developed 
in Washington where the necessity for shifting recovery funds 
to sectors where they could be put to immediate relief uses 
caused budget difficulties. Despite its handicaps, the 
program moved forward. Projects were approved and put 
under way in Birmingham, Atlantic City, Charleston, Buffalo, 
and in more than a score of other cities. 

GOVERNING PRINCIPLES 

To plan a city with a population of between 70,000 and 
80,000 is no small task. Such a city would compare in size 
with Winston-Salem, N. C., or Little Rock, Ark. In essence 
this was the problem faced by PWA, but in many ways the 
problem was more complex than planning merely one com- 
munity. The Housing Division proposed to operate in 
many cities. The living habits of prospective tenants varied 
considerably, and geographical conditions, which had a 
direct effect on types of construction, differed greatly. 
While these facts were recognized, at the same time a govern- 



212 



ing principle of erecting "the complete community" was 
adopted. 

The development of neighborhoods rather than indi- 
vidual homes was accepted as a guide not only for the 
stability it would give to communities, but also because of 
the reduced municipal expenditures it could bring about. 
It was possible to junk the old system of "gridiron" street 
patterns which largely had been determined by adherence to 
the long, narrow individual lot. In its 51 projects, the 
Housing Division was able to remodel existing street patterns 
and to reduce the necessary street area as much as 30 per- 
cent. Similar reductions applied to the residential area of 
New York, for instance, could cut the annual cost of its 
street department by several million dollars. 

Another benefit to be derived from planned neighborhoods, 
the Housing Division showed, was the reduction in fire risk. 
Slum areas repeatedly have proved to be tinder boxes 
kindling for a conflagration. Safe housing, carefully planned, 
removed actual fire hazards in many projects. 

ECONOMIC LOSSES OF BAD HOUSING 

It was noted early by the Housing Division that in addi- 
tion to the moral and health menace of the slum, bad 
housing areas were costing cities excessive amounts for normal 
city services. The cost of supplying these services by far 
exceeded the return slum properties paid in taxes. One 
survey in Cleveland placed the cost of municipal services in 
a small slum area at 31,357,000 annually and its yield at 
$225,000 in tax returns. It thus left a deficit of $i, 132,000 
for the rest of the taxpayers to meet. In Indianapolis, 10 
percent of the population, living within certain well-defined 
areas, was draining 26 percent of the funds set aside for 
public service. While families living in good housing areas 
in Indianapolis required a per capita expenditure of $4 for 
city services, the families living under bad conditions 
absorbed $27.29. 

Obviously, the police protection, fire prevention, and health 
costs of a city would be diminished in a neighborhood where 



213 



good housing replaced bad. To this extent, the planned 
neighborhoods erected by PWA brought relief to strained 
municipal budgets. 

Because of the size of the developments some economies 
stemming from large-scale operations were possible. In 
size, the projects ran all the way from the 5O-unit Highland 
Homes at Wayne, Pa., with an allotment of $344,000 to the 
huge 1,622-unit Williamsburg Houses in New York City, 
the Nation's largest, which received an allotment of $13,- 

459,000. 

LAND PRICES 

One of the Housing Division's thorniest problems was that 
of land costs. In many cases slums were near business areas 
and were held by their owners in the hope of eventual busi- 
ness or industrial value. In some of these areas rentals 
brought large returns compared to the actual value of the 
property. For these reasons the prices asked by owners were 
sometimes extravagantly high and it was necesssary to enter 
condemnation suits to obtain clear titles to property at some- 
thing approaching true value. After the Louisville case, 
however, the Housing Division, unable to condemn, began 
buying vacant sites. Since such areas were usually under 
one ownership, they could be obtained with greater speed. 

All told, the price paid for land ranged from as high as $4.30 
a square foot, in the case of the 25-acre tract for Williamsburg 
houses in the heart of the Brooklyn slum area, to four-tenths 
of a cent in Miami. The average price was 44 cents per 
square foot. The average appraised value of the 51 sites 
was $451,430, while the price paid was $393,341. 

COMPARATIVE COSTS 

As the program approached completion, oppositionists who 
feared a spread of the public-housing theory sought every 
means possible to hamper and embarrass the program. 
Charges of waste and extravagance were thrown about with 
complete abandon on the theory that if enough mud were 
thrown, someone would be hit. Invidious comparisons 
sprang up like the flowers in spring. Total costs of projects, 



214 



including street paving, utilities, outdoor lighting, and land 
cost were divided by the number of living units and the result- 
ing figure was compared with the mere construction cost of 
private residences. 

In the midst of this situation the Bureau of Labor Statis- 
tics of the United States Department of Labor, undertook a 
survey of public-housing costs. It published its findings in 
May of 1938 and disclosed that the average construction cost 
of the dwelling facilities in the public projects was $4,126. 
This figure did not take into account the land costs nor other 
project costs such as the street utilities, sewers, and lighting 
equipment for grounds. The dwelling-facility figure, the 
Bureau declared, was the only fair comparative-cost figure, 
for, it said, it was the same measure used by it for reporting 
private-building costs throughout the United States. 

Thirty-three projects, 17 southern and 16 northern, were 
surveyed by the Bureau. The average construction cost per 
room in the 33 projects, the Bureau found, was $1,169. 
Previous charges had put this particular cost as high as 
$4,000. The Bureau stated that if it had included extraneous 
costs, such as sewers, paving, electrical distribution systems 
outside of buildings, social and recreational space, rentable 
office buildings, and the like, the total construction cost per 
room would be $1,235. Variation occurred between costs of 
northern and southern projects, the average for the former 
being $4,472 per dwelling unit and for the latter $3,568 per 
dwelling unit. 

RENTALS AND MANAGEMENT 

Operation of 51 projects meant the management of rental 
properties accommodating 21,800 families. It involved the 
selection of tenant families who could not afford to keep them- 
selves decently housed without public aid. The division set 
up qualifications based upon prospective tenants 7 income and 
their current housing conditions. Families having an income 
more than five times the rent of the necessary dwelling unit in 
the public project were excluded. Families who could sup- 
port themselves in decent housing automatically were refused 



215 



consideration. But if the income of a family was within 
the range permitted, and if the housing in which they lived 
was considered bad housing; that is, if it failed to meet 
reasonable requirements in the matter of health, safety, and 
comfort, the family was considered for residence in the new 
housing. 

As rents were calculated to return 55 percent of the cost of 
the project amortized over 60 years, plus maintenance and 
operation costs, the rental figures varied according to the 
cost of the project. Forty-five percent of the construction 
price of each project was written off as a PWA grant. The 
rental was made up of two items: The base rent, or that 
necessary to return the capitalized construction cost; and a 
utilities charge. The latter covered cost of heat and light, 
power or gas for cooking, hot and cold water, and refrigera- 
tion. The average base rent ran around $5.37 per room per 
month, plus anywhere from 50 cents to $2.95 per room per 
month for utilities, depending on local costs for electricity, gas, 
coal, and the like. 

Rental charges on a group of projects were as follows: 



City and project 


Base rent 
per room 
per month 


Utilities 
per room 
per month 


Total rent 
per room 
per month 


Atlanta, Techwood __ 


35-52 
4.61 
5.82 
4.50 
4.78 
4-43 
3-79 
4-99 
4-93 
4-93 
7.12 
5.08 
5.40 


gi.Si 
1.17 
2.95 
.50 
i. 80 
2.13 

0) 

M 

.96 
1.82 
i. 40 

2. 17 
2.05 


37-33 
5.78 
8.77 
5.00 
6.58 
6.56 

3-79 
4.99 
5.89 

6.75 
8.52 
7.25 
7-45 


Memphis, Dixie Homes _ _ _ _ 


Stamford Fairfield Court 


Birmingham Smithfield Court 


Cleveland Outhwaite 


Indianapolis Lockefield 


Montgomery, Patterson Courts 


Miami Liberty Square 


Charleston, Meeting St 


Boston, Old Harbor 


New York \Villiamsburg 


Philadelphia Hill Creek 


Washington Langston 





1 Purchased by tenant. 

It was generally conceded, and first by the Housing 
Division, that these rents were not as low as they ought to 
be to take care of the families who needed help most. But 
under the terms of the legislation, through which the Housing 



2l6 



Division was forced to operate, they were as low as was 
possible. Therefore, PWA advocated a liberalizing of the 

law. 

LEGISLATIVE ADVANCES 

Under its own law and because of lack of proper local laws 
it had been necessary for PWA itself to acquire sites, con- 
struct, and operate housing projects. It was early recog- 
nized that the cause of public housing would be greatly 
advanced if communities with Federal aid in the form of 
grants and loans could perform their own work. In response 
to public demand, legislation was passed in State after State 
and city after city permitting the establishment of housing 
authorities. In 1937 the Wagner-Steagall Act establishing 
the United States Housing Authority was passed. 

Under this act, the basis for subsidy of the projects was 
vastly expanded; the Federal Government was allowed to 
make loans and pay subsidies to local housing authorities 
who would erect projects and operate them themselves. 
The program in general was "localized" or decentralized. 

The enthusiasm which mustered behind the Wagner- 
Steagall Act was a tribute to the strength of the public- 
housing movement which had been given form and substance 
by PWA. The needs that public housing filled, the purpose 
it served, and its specific accomplishments so appealed to the 
Nation and to the Congress that the program was deemed 
worthy of being established as a permanent Government 
activity. After a 4-year period of demonstration and 
pioneering, public housing was adopted as a law of the land. 
Housing had come of age. 



217 



AMERICA BUILDS 



Chapter XVII 



Summary 




TO EVALUATE the work of 
PWA in terms of its full effect 
on the economic life of the American people is an almost 
impossible task at the present time. PWA can claim cur- 
rently only that it has proceeded to carry out its functions 
with all the sincerity and ability at its command. Its task 
has not been carried out without some mistakes and errors, 
but that was inherent in so huge an undertaking, and espe- 
cially when the public works program has grown and developed 
in accordance with the exigencies of the times. 

PWA has not been a construction agency, although it 
might have become so in large part under the provisions of 
the National Industrial Recovery Act. The only works 



219 



which PWA itself has sponsored, contracted, and built were 
the low-rental housing projects (and these, like all its other 
projects, were generally constructed under contract). PWA 
has functioned chiefly by making allotments to the various 
Federal agencies; making loans and grants to State and other 
public bodies; and making loans without grants (for a brief 
time) to certain private corporations, such as the railroads. 

The agency, born of the depression, had a tremendous task 
even in its organization. The vast amount of work involved 
in administration was not accomplished by rubbing a magic 
lamp. In the absence of a nucleus organization, it was neces- 
sary to draft personnel, to establish procedures, to formulate 
criteria for the selection of projects and to develop techniques 
for the handling of many phases of the work in as short a 
time as possible. 

Because of the very nature of the American system of 
government, the public works program depended largely on 
the cooperation of the States and their subdivisions with the 
Federal Government. The legal questions involved in such 
cooperation were both numerous and complex. Debt limits, 
tax limits, budgeting, the letting of construction contracts, 
the employment of labor, and standards of construction were 
subject to State and local laws, which were not designed to 
insure the speed with which it was necessary to function. 
Such legal impediments mainly have been removed by local 
legislation in the drafting of which PWA has cooperated by 
request with State and municipal officials. 

In the absence of any comprehensive program of planned 
public works at the start, it was necessary also to stimulate 
interest, to undertake surveys, to draw plans and designs, 
and to overcome financial and other difficulties. In the 
meantime while communities throughout the Nation were 
readying themselves for participation in the program the 
unemployed and the breadlines were still in evidence every- 
where. A part of the PW 7 A funds was therefore set aside in 
the fall of 1933 for the Civil Works Administration to be used 
for direct employment of men on relief, to fill the gap until a 
construction program of any great size could get under way. 



220 



But in 1934 the first PWA program began to have its major 
impact on the construction and related manufacturing in- 
dustries. The industries which were most affected were 
those which always are subject to widest fluctuation. In the 
case of the cement industry, for example, PWA material 
orders amounted to a ratio of between 50 and 75 percent of 
the entire output of cement for that year. How many 
individual plants in that industry were saved from bank- 
ruptcy, it is impossible to know. In other industries also, 
PWA orders constituted what was equivalent to a large 
proportion of the entire output. 

ECONOMIC EFFECTS 

The effect of PWA on industry is further indicated by the 
fact that with the rapid completion of projects in early 1935 
there began a turn-down in production indices. But at this 
time there was already in existence an organization geared to 
work at high speed. Legal difficulties had, in large part, 
been swept away, and local officials, having become used to 
PWA methods, were anxious to take advantage of Federal 
aid. Thus, when the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act 
of 1935 was passed, construction was put under way in a much 
shorter time. There followed immediate and sharp upturn 
in production indices. 1 It is fair to attribute a substantial 
share of this increase to PWA material purchases and em- 
ployment. 

Through 1936 and 1937 Congress made no direct appro- 
priation from the Treasury to provide PWA with funds ex- 
cept to authorize it to use up to $3 59,000,000 from the 
revolving fund. It was hoped that private enterprise would 
pick up as the public construction program slowed down, 
but in the spring of 1938 it became all too evident that this 
was not the case. Something had to be done to counteract 
the business recession. PWA was there. It was reduced to 
a skeleton, to be sure, but it was grounded in the fundamentals 
and techniques of public-works administration and how to 

1 The Federal Reserve Board index of industrial production stood at 87 in April 1935, the 
month in which the ERA Act of 1935 was passed. The index thereafter rose rapidly to reach 
101 by December 1935 ( J 9 2 3- 2 5 average = 100). 



221 



get a program under way with no loss of time. It also 
possessed a reservoir of thousands of eligible projects, 
planned by communities all over the country, for which funds 
had not been available theretofore. 

With the passage of the PWA Act of 1938, the agency made 
allotments almost overnight. Although the act was not 
signed until June 21, with the best construction season almost 
half over in many localities, the program was put under way 
immediately. Within a few weeks, contracts were let by the 
hundreds, and thousands of men were put to work on the 
sites of construction and in the factories receiving material 
orders for the projects. The requirements, which Congress 
made in the law, that all projects be put under construction 
by January i, 1939, was met. 

Not all the communities which applied for PWA assistance 
in building or improving local works could be aided, due to 
the fact that the funds provided PWA by Congress were 
insufficient to care for all requests. As a result, PWA once 
again has been able to build up a reservoir of worthy projects. 

COMMUNITIES' NEEDS 

The requests from communities throughout the Nation, as 
well as independent surveys, show clearly that local needs for 
public improvements, contributions to education, public 
health, sanitation, adequate water supply, better transporta- 
tion facilities, and a higher standard of life generally are far 
from fulfilled. 

All these needs which must be ultimately met can be more 
adequately and properly fulfilled by proper planning. Such 
advance planning is, of course, essential if public works are 
definitely utilized as a national policy to combat economic 
depression and to stabilize business fluctuations. 

PWA has shown that a Nation-wide construction program 
of large size can accomplish this objective for it not only puts 
hundreds of thousands of men to work on the sites of projects, 
but more than twice as many in the factories and in the mines 
and transportation industries, all in accordance with the 
normal American method of working through the channels 



222 



of private enterprise. With a well-trained supervisory organ- 
ization and rigid insistence on the highest standards of 
honesty and fair dealing, inefficiency and graft can be elim- 
inated from public works and the communities and labor and 
employers can share in the benefits. Furthermore, oppor- 
tunities are created for the safe employment of savings in 
matching the Federal Government's contribution toward the 
financing of the projects. It has been the basic objective of 
PWA to stimulate recovery by increasing purchasing power, 
by increasing the real wealth of the country, by providing 
employment in the field and in the factory, and by drawing 
private capital into productive use. 

PWA is not and never has aimed to be a direct relief organ- 
ization. There are thousands whom it can never affect di- 
rectly and for whom other aid has to be provided. It can 
and does, however, through its activities, keep hundreds of 
thousands of men off the relief rolls and can be in a position 
to step in when the heavy construction industry lags to influ- 
ence national income and to help bring about national 
economic recovery. 



223 



AMERICA BUILDS 



Chapter XVIII 



Case Histories 




IN EVERY section of the 
United States there have been 
constructed PWA projects which are noteworthy because of 
their spectacular engineering features or because of the social 
purposes which they have been intended to fulfill. These 
public works of more than usual interest range in size from 
small projects costing but a few thousand dollars to ones 
costing many millions. The following 10 projects, located in 
different sections of the country and exemplifying a variety 
of types, have been selected at random to illustrate the 
enduring service which PWA projects render. 



225 



CASE No. 1 

New York A Bridge 

In the i88o's, human spiders began spinning the steel webs 
of bridges joining together two score cities and villages on half 
a dozen islands and peninsulas that were to grow into Greater 
New York City. In 1883 that great engineering triumph, 
the Brooklyn Bridge, was finished, and in a third of a century 
three more bridges followed, bringing even closer the segments 
of a great metropolitan area. 

By 1916 traffic over these bridges had reached 11,500,000 
vehicles per year and began to choke the city. A group of 
engineers suggested a bridge to connect the fast growing 
Bronx, Queens, and northern Manhattan sections of the city. 
Nothing was done. By 1925 East River traffic grew to 
55,000,000 vehicles. Still, nothing was done. By the end 
of the I92o's traffic had reached 83,000,000 vehicles and 
conditions were intolerable. 

This brought matters to a head and the city brought 
forward new plans, proposing a Triborough Bridge an 
immense new artery of travel, connecting three of the five 
boroughs, its "feelers" reaching out to the suburban com- 
munities of the city. 

Work on Triborough Bridge was begun on October 25, 
1929. That was the day the headlines in the papers read: 
"i2,8oo,ooo-share Day Swamps Market -- Most Disastrous 
Decline - - Five Bankers Say Conditions Are Sound." Few 
people noticed the little story about the start of the new 
bridge. 

For 3 years the city struggled to build the new bridge in 
the face of the avalanche. Then, in 1932, with $5,000,000 
spent, the city had to give up. 

In 1933, after PWA was created, the city regained hope. 
A new bridge authority was organized and application was 
made to the PWA for a loan and grant. Engineering and 
financial experts of the authority and PWA discussed the 



226 



matter. After consultation, engineers lopped an unnecessary 
second deck off the plans. Thousands of cubic yards of 
expensive granite facings were cut off the i^-mile viaduct that 
soared over two islands. The towers were simplified. With- 
out affecting usefulness $10,000,000 was saved, later to be 
invested in even better connections. A working plan 
emerged, something solid, substantial, and utilitarian. 

PWA made a grant of $9,200,000 and a loan of $35,000,000 
and work resumed December 12, 1933. PWA funds began to 
flow to provide employment and to stimulate industry. 

Contractors at once called for cement, steel, and lumber. 
Up on the Maine coast, along the Hudson and Mississippi 
Rivers, the great cement factories donned their white-dust 
plume that signified "working full shifts", for Triborough 
used a half a million cubic yards of concrete. The whistles in 
half a hundred Pennsylvania factories recalled workers to 
their tasks at the hearths and mills. On the Pacific coast 
great trees crashed and were started on their way to make 
forms. Thousands of men along the various railroads began 
rolling and shifting the cars of girders, cables, and plates 
destined for the project. 

Through the hard winter of 1934-35 an d through the hot 
summer engineers labored over drafting boards to keep ahead 
of the growing army of workmen, so that the steel ends of 
the bridge reaching out from land on three sides might make 
their rendezvous over Wards Island. Huge amounts of 
employment were created at the site and in the Nation's 
factories. Lawyers, clerks, stenographers, and other white- 
collar workers labored to acquire the land for the 13 miles of 
approaches, and to keep check on the progress of the work. 

The project made light of obstacles in its path. City 
blocks vanished. Narrow streets widened as if a titanic 
wedge were hammered through between their confining house 
walls. Creeks surrendered to concrete arches. 

In one part, the sea bottom was compelled to yield up a 
new embankment. In another part a vast blighted neigh- 
borhood of gas houses and oil storage tanks were doomed to 
make way for a new highway. 



227 




I 



The deadline was getting closer. The bridge had to open 
in July 1936. Men, men, and more men were added to 
the pay rolls. Two hundred separate trades, all the way 
from asbestos and asphalt workers to upholsterers and 
wire-stringers, worked on the project for their accustomed 
wages. 

Five thousand men worked three shifts a day. Through 
the spring the crescendo increased. The last thousands 
went to work at 6 a. m. the morning of July II, 1936, to 
clean up. 

At noon that day, President Roosevelt, Administrator 
Ickes, Commissioner Moses, and the Triborough Bridge 
Authority marched onto the bridge. Scissors flashed. A 
strip of shimmering silk fluttered and the champing motor- 
cade it held in check moved. Triborough Bridge was 
marked on PWA records as a completed project. 

Triborough Bridge is a gigantic traffic machine, a huge 
1 7-mile Y with one arm on the mainland and two others on 
Long Island and Manhattan. It has four overwater cross- 
ings, the most conspicuous being the Hell Gate suspension 
span, but some of the others, dwarfed beside it, are the largest 
of their type in the world. It includes a lift bridge, a low- 
level bridge, a long trestle between Wards and Randalls 
Islands, many highway and parkway bridges along the con- 
necting water-front parks; parkways in three boroughs, a 
flying junction at Randalls Island where 14 lanes of traffic 
moving in eight directions meet and pass without interrup- 
tion. And best of all, it provides 17 miles of high-speed 
travel in the midst of a city, with only one stop, to pay toll. 

Triborough Bridge was financed by PWA on the basis that 
it would be a self-liquidating project. What have been the 
results ? 

The turnstiles started to click; the first original optimistic 
estimate set traffic at 9,900,000 vehicles; actually 11,642,949 
crossed during the first full year (1937). The next year again 
showed an excess over expectations. 

The bankers who would not take those bonds at any price 
in 1933 when PWA stepped in, were later glad to pay a 



229 



premium for them, and the Federal Government made a 
million and half dollars profit to be used on new work- 
producing projects. 

But Triborough yielded other benefits also. The city 
acquired a new park on Randalls Island. A stadium there 
was used for Olympic try-outs the day the bridge opened. 
Another park is in the making on Wards Island. 

While Triborough was building, a committee, searching 
for a site for a great world's fair, looked over the situation in 
Queens. They found that the Queens connection for the 
bridge ran by a huge garbage dump which for years had 
been a rat-infested waste. Part of the Triborough plan 
was to reclaim this dump for a park, for with the completion 
of the bridge that dump would be i hour closer to the center 
of the city. That dump has become Flushing Meadow 
Park and on that park, aided by the Triborough Bridge, 
has risen the New York World's Fair of 1939. (The other 
main connection with the fair is the PWA-financed subway 
which runs across the south end of the park.) 

To the north the city's great North Beach Airport is 
being put into final shape, because the construction of the 
Triborough Bridge has brought the flats of North Beach only 
30 minutes away from the heart of Manhattan. 

The bridge which opened up these developments also 
produced a real-estate boom in northern Queens. 

The Triborough Bridge repaid PWA's confidence by 
becoming one of the best-paying public facilities in the land. 
So great has its success been that on the basis of its income 
the Triborough Bridge Authority was able to construct a 
new bridge the Whitestone Bridge farther north. 

Summary of data 

APPLICANT: TRI-BOROUGH BRIDGE AUTHORITY, 
NEW YORK, N. Y. 

Loan 335,000,000 , 

Grant 39,200,000 

Actual cost 344,291,290 

PWA work started, March 12, 1934. 
Bridge opened for traffic, July 11, 1936. 



230 



Construction fully completed, May 7, 1937. 

Man-hours (on site) ... 7 , 71 7 , 000 

Man-hours (off site), estimated., .__ 24,000,000 

Total man-hours, estimated 1 31,717,000 

Wages (on site) _ . . _ _ $8 , 392 , 000 

Value of material orders__ .__ 317,460,000 

Origin of material orders (135 cities) 20 States 

Expected traffic for 1938 (vehicles) 9,900,000 

Actual traffic for 1938 (vehicles).. 11,619,344 

Expected income from traffic for 1938 32,579,000 

Actual total receipts for 1938. . 32,950,970 



CASE No. 2 

Texas A Harbor 

In Brownsville, Tex., they built a port for ocean-going 
ships in the middle of a prairie. 

Brownsville is located near the extreme southern tip of 
Texas, on a prairie 18 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. The 
story of its rise is also the story of the magic valley of the 
Rio Grande and of citizens with imagination enough to plan 
far ahead. 

Many years ago the Rio Grande River was not only a 
border line between the two countries, but an artery of 
commerce. French and English vessels anchored near its 
mouth, lightered their cargoes to the Mexican town of Bagdad, 
located at the river's mouth, and from Bagdad the cargoes 
were taken upstream in small boats. Gradually, however, 
the river filled with silt and even the small amount of com- 
merce on the river became impossible. But the citizens of 
south Texas never forgot the benefits of water-borne trans- 
portation. 

At the beginning of the present century some easterners 
visiting the Rio Grande Valley visualized the marvels which 
might be wrought by irrigation. Soon small areas had 
water canals and began producing vegetables and cotton with 
prodigal abundance. Still later grapefruit and orange trees 
were planted. 



231 



Now 800,000 Rio Grande Valley acres are under irrigation. 
The valley has become one of the world's largest producers 
of fine citrus fruits. It is the site of some of the most extensive 
truck farms in the world with fields of carrots, spinach, 
broccoli, and peppers so broad that it is impossible to see 
across them even though they are planted on almost flat 
ground. Throughout the valley packing and canning and 
byproduct plants are located, shipping their produce to 
every corner of the Nation and particularly to the great 
markets of the East. 

Brownsville, as the valley's most important city, was 
concerned with the transportation problems involved in 
moving a vast quantity of produce to market quickly and 
economically. Old citizens had not forgotten the days when 
the Rio Grande had been a waterway, and water transporta- 
tion was uppermost in their minds. They began to make 
plans for making a port out of Brownsville, a port through 
which would flow not only citrus fruits, vegetables, and cotton, 
but oil and the metallic ores of Mexico. 

Today Brownsville, though inland, has one of the busiest 
and fastest-growing ports on the Gulf. The port was built 
through the cooperation of the people of the area, the War 
Department, and the PWA. A special navigation district 
was set up by local citizens under State authority. The 
War Department had funds for river and harbor improve- 
ments which could be used to dig a canal within 7 miles of 
Brownsville. The canal was planned to be wide enough 
and deep enough to permit the passage of many large ships. 
At the end of the canal a turning basin, the size of three 
city blocks by four city blocks, was to be placed. Then the 
navigation district turned to the Public Works Administra- 
tion. 

PWA made an allotment of $2, 83 5, 98 2 for the building of 
warehouses, docks, and other improvements at the turning 
basin. Built with PWA funds also were three large ware- 
houses, two long wharves, and an oil dock. Included in the 
project were funds to build a water line and a power line to 
connect the port with utilities at Brownsville. 



232 



THE TURNING BASIN OF BROWNSVILLE, TEX., HARBOR- 
BUILT IN THE MIDDLE OF A PRAIRIE 



'HE HARBOR 



After the PWA allotment had been secured and work 
started, the Texas State Highway Department built a con- 
crete highway from the city to the port and a railroad built 
an extension to the docks. 

Completion of the project was the signal for immediate 
industrial development. A cotton-compress company saw 
the advantages of the new port and built warehouses. Re- 
cently a number of major oil companies have established tank 
farms at the port, and leases have been made for a truck 
storage and distribution plant to handle molasses, a precooling 
and cold storage plant, and a petroleum products plant. 

The port's tonnage has increased steadily since the first 
cargo moved out of its warehouses to a waiting freighter. 
Tonnage handled has approximately doubled each year. In 
1936, about 39,000 tons were handled; in 1937, over 54,000 
tons; in 1938, more than 105,000 tons; and in the first 3 
months of 1939 more than the entire amount handled in 1937. 
Eight steamship lines now make Brownsville a regular port 
of call. Cargo of all sorts is shipped to every part of the 
world. 

The future is still brighter. Under way now in Willacy 
County, Tex., is a huge irrigation project, also financed by the 
PWA, which will add still more to the valley's production 
capacity. And, too, oil has been discovered nearby and may 
further increase the tonnage of the "port in the prairie." 



233 



Summary of data 

APPLICANT: BROWNSVILLE NAVIGATION DISTRICT 

Loan . 32,120,013 

Grant 3715,969 

Estimated cost 32,835,445 

Started, December 1, 1934. 
Completed, August 21, 1937. 

Man-hours (on site) 351 ,701 

Man-hours (off site) 707,900 

Total man-hours 1,059,601 

Wages (on site) 3218,779 

Value of material orders, _. 3599,139 

Origin of material orders (States) 17 

CASE No 3 

Illinois A Sewerage System 

The trouble with Chicago was that it grew too fast. It 
started out as a little frontier post on the banks of a mile- 
long sluggish stream that meandered through the marshes to 
Lake Michigan. But through the nineteenth century and 
the first decades of the twentieth, Chicago's growth was 
phenomenal. The city began to spread; before it realized, 
Chicago was faced with a sewage problem. 

Faced was a literal term, for in its early days Chicago 
dumped its sewage into the lake at its front door. This 
same lake provided its water supply. 

In 1900, in a burst of decorum and resentment stirred by a 
rising number of deaths from water-borne disease, Chicago 
dug a canal reversing the flow of the Chicago River, and used 
the lake water to flush its sewage down past numerous towns 
along the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. Having turned its 
back on the problem the city promptly forgot about it. 

The resulting uproar from the adjacent and nearby States 
was instantaneous, loud, and sustained. Cities along the 
Great Lakes claimed that the water diverted from the lake 
lowered water levels and interfered with navigation. The 
towns along the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers were dismayed 



2 34 



to find Chicago's sewage flowing past their property. These 
cities brought charges, and conflicting opinions were aired at 
length and with considerable emotion through the courts, 
until finally, in 1930, the United States Supreme Court 
decided that the lake diversion must be cut to 1,500 feet per 
second by the end of 1939. 

The sanitary district of Chicago was thus faced with a 
$ 1 29,000,000 bill for constructing a new sewerage system, and 
8 short years in which to complete it. Work was started, 
but the area, hard hit by the depression, and looted by 
succeeding generations of politicians, was financially strapped, 
and was unable to continue the job. Construction on the 
project came to a standstill. 

In the closing days of 1933, an appeal was made to PWA. 
The Government engineers went over the proposed plans 
and an allotment of $8, 000,000, which included a grant 
based on 30 percent of labor and materials, was approved. 
Later, allotments brought the total up to $59,35 1,487 
which increased the loan to $4 1,863,040 and the grant to 
$i 6, 950,000. 

PWA made this loan when bankers refused to purchase 
the bonds. The sanitary district was having much trouble 
with its tax situation, its bonds were in default and quoted 
at a substantial discount. Nevertheless, PWA bought these 
bonds at par, or $100. It later, however, resold them to 
bankers at $101, and made a profit of $419,380 on the 
$41,938,000 bond issue. 

Work started January 2, 1934. Since that time the 
greatest sewerage system in the world has grown under the 
watchful eyes of the PWA engineers. 

A new lock and control works costing $3,000,000 has been 
built where the lake flows into the river, for with the tiny 
legal flow, a rainstorm would reverse the flow and send the 
cities' sewage coursing into the drinking-water supply. This 
part of the project provided a 600- by 8o-foot lock for ships. 
Behind this lock are the great miter gates that permit the 
river to flow in but swing shut to prevent its reversing. 

The next problem was to collect all the sewage that was 



235 




THE LARGEST SEWERAGE PROJECT IN THE WORLD, UNDERTAKEN WITH 
PWA ASSISTANCE, IN CHICAGO, ILL., TO SERVE A GREAT METROPOLITAN 

AREA. UPPER PHOTO THE SOUTH SIDE DISPOSAL AND TREATMENT PLANT. 

LOWER PHOTO SHOWS HUMAN ANTS WHO BURROWED UNDER GROUND TO 
BUILD A VAST NETWORK OF SEWERS 



formerly dumped raw into the river. The work started with 
laying of j-foot pipes under the myriad streets cross-hatching 
Chicago and 49 other nearby cities and towns. 

This system of street laterals empties into larger and deeper 
tubes, ending up in the great interceptors. Far below street 
level, these interceptors are concrete-lined tunnels, 19 feet 
high by 1 8 feet wide, approximately the size of subway tubes. 
Constructed over a period of 1 5 years by burrowing humans, 
they serve to carry millions of gallons of waste every day to 
the treatment plants. 

The largest of these disposal plants is the southwest side 
treatment plant, double the size of any other treatment plant 
in the world, serving an area of 192 square miles, a million 
and a half people and industrial wastes equivalent to a popu- 
lation of another million people. The plant cost $i 5,000,000 
and covers 500 acres. 

Here the solids are removed from 400 million gallons of 
sewage a day. The purified water is returned to the river. 
Vacuum niters dry the solids, which are burned under the 
boilers that provide power. The ash is caught by the huge 
battery of Cottrell precipitators, which snares the dust in a 
tangle of electrons and prevents 100 tons of solids a day 
from being scattered over the surrounding prairies. Since 
some of the dry sludge has value as fertilizer it is sold, and 
coal to operate the plant is bought with the profit. 

It is impossible to flow all the sewage to the southwest side 
plant, so another plant costing $5, 275,000 was built in Calu- 
met to serve the huge industrial area south of Chicago close 
to the Indiana State line. Additions were made to the old 
plants at the north and west sides involving a cost of 
$2,000,000. 

The Chicago sewage system is one of the greatest en- 
gineering feats completed with PWA funds. It will safe- 
guard the health of millions of citizens in the heart of the 
Nation. It has created a work of permanent value for years 
to come. And it was built at a time when Chicago's citizens 
were most in need of the millions of man-hours of work it 
provided. 



237 



Summary of data 
APPLICANT: SANITARY DISTRICT OF CHICAGO 

Loan__ 341,863,040 

Grant__ 316,950,000 

Estimated cost 359,351,487 

Started, January 1, 1934. 

To be completed, August 31, 1939. 

Man-hours (on site) 17,152,697 

Man-hours (off site) 28,271,000 

Total man-hours 45,423,697 

Wages (on site) 319,537,463 

Value of material orders 321,326,259 

Origin of material orders (States) 14 

CASE No. 4 - . | 

Missouri An Auditorium 

Atlantic City, Miami, and San Francisco have long known 
what tourist trade meant in terms of cold cash. They found 
out early and began capitalizing on it, but it took Kansas 
City a long time to decide to lure tourists. 

Kansas City, an early day "cowtown". and trail head for 
the West, has none of Atlantic City's nor Miami's salt sea 
air, nor the climate of San Francisco. It has one advantage, 
however, that none of these other cities has : It is built where 
the Kaw meets the Missouri, very nearly in the center of the 
United States. 

Kansas City discovered that when a group of people want 
to get together they usually do it at a point convenient to 
them all. It became convention conscious. But if you 
want conventions you have to provide a place for them to 
meet. 

In the last years of the nineteenth century Kansas City 
built its first great convention hall. In 1900, because it had 
a hall big enough, it got the Democratic National Convention. 
In the midst of plans for the biggest meeting in the Mid- 
west's history the hall caught fire and burned down. Within 
3 months, in time for the convention's first meeting on the 

238 




THE 6-MILLION-DOLLAR AUDITORIUM IN KANSAS CITY, MO., BUILT TO AC- 
COMMODATE 40,000 PEOPLE. THE BUILDING CONTAINS ASSEMBLY SPACE 
FOR LARGE CONVENTIONS. CONCERTS, MEETINGS, LECTURES, AND THEATRI- 
CAL PLAYS AS WELL AS OTHER ACTIVITIES. 

Fourth of July, Kansas City had a new hall ready, a hall 
which would seat 20,000 people. 

For 36 years Convention Hall was a center of Kansas City 
life and it was the scene as well of thousands of meetings, 
great and small. But the growth of the city and the demand 
for more and varied types of assembly space made a new 
building necessary. Citizens got together, planned a new 
auditorium, and included its construction in what they called 
their lo-year plan for civic improvement. 

As the plans took shape it became evident that Kansas 
City, because of reduced revenues due to depression, could 
not finance its $6,000,000 project, even though materials 
were cheaper and men in the building trades were clamoring 
for work. As soon as PWA was organized, however, Kansas 
City applied for a grant of $1,290,000 to add to its own funds. 
A few months after the allotment was made, actual work 
started and 2 years later the city completed what is said to 
be the most beautiful convention hall in the world. 

This modern "town hall" is, of course, more than an audi- 
torium. In reality it is a group of related assembly spaces: 



The largest of these is the arena, which can seat 15,000 
useful for sports and exhibitions as well as very large conven- 
tions; next largest is the music hall, seating 3,000, used for 
concerts, meetings, and lectures; a little theater, with capac- 
ity for an audience of 1,000; and 32 other rooms, with accom- 
modations for from 25 to 500 people. 

The Kansas City auditorium is not only the second largest 
in the United States, but it is the most modern. It covers an 
entire block in the heart of the city, rising to the height of a 
lo-story building. Because of careful planning by acoustical 
engineers every room in the building may be used without 
disturbing what is going on elsewhere crowds may cheer an 
ice-hockey game wildly in the arena without interfering with a 
concert of chamber music in the music hall. 

Forty thousand people may attend various events in the 
auditorium at one time and yet the building has been so 
planned that in case of emergency all 40,000 could be on the 
streets in 8 minutes. 

From a base of polished granite, the rough-cut buff lime- 
stone walls rise to their heights, relieved of severity by 
carved-stone medallions and friezes. The vast expanse of 
exterior walls is unbroken by windows, this plan eliminating 
all traffic noises and aiding in positive control of lighting and 
air conditioning by artificial means. Air conditioning is 
provided by the third largest plant so far constructed, 
installed at a cost of $1,000,000. 

Many engineering perplexities were conquered in the design 
and construction. The problem of supporting a roof and 
ceiling over the large arena without the employment of 
interior supports was solved by the use of 226-foot traverse 
trusses, fabricated of silicon steel and weighing 240 tons each. 

Since the auditorium was placed in service businessmen in 
Kansas City have counted many extra dollars brought to town 
by convention delegates. Along with this it has served as a 
center for the cultural and recreational life both of Kansas 
City and a wide surrounding area. The auditorium has 
already been the gathering place of outstanding national con- 
ventions. Not only socially and economically useful, the 



240 



auditorium meets PWA's requirements of permanency. It 
will be one of the great meeting places of the Nation for many 
years to come. 

The inscription on the cornerstone reads: "Laid November 
29, 1934, by the will of the people, which is the cornerstone of 
all good government." 

Summary of data 
APPLICANT: CITY OF KANSAS CITY 

Grant 31,290,000 

Estimated cost $6,261,469 

Started, June 5, 1934. 
Completed, July 28, 1936. 

Man-hours (on site) 1,171,510 

Man-hours (off site) 2,959,700 

Total man-hours 4,131,210 

Wages (on site) $1,131,274 

Value of material orders ___ $2,350,938 

Origin of material orders (States) 18 

CASE No. 5 
Florida A Bridge-Highway System 

Key West is a part of the United States mainland again. 

Behind that simple statement is the story of one of the 
hardest fights any city ever had to wage, the dramatic tale 
of how a city, doomed to become a ghost town of crumbling 
and forgotten masonry, battled for its very existence and 
won. Once cut off from the mainland by a hurricane, it is 
now connected by one of the most spectacular bridge-high- 
way systems in the world. 

Key West, the southernmost city of the United States, 
built on an island of coral set in the Gulf of Mexico, has 
known ups and downs before. Long ago it became a harbor 
for pirates who stopped to fill casks with the fresh sweet 
waters of the only spring on the Florida keys. Henry 
Morgan and Black Caesar stalked its lanes. A thousand 
pirates drank and cursed in its bordellos, sold and swapped 
stolen goods in its market place. 

With piracy wiped from the high seas, Key West became 



241 



%$m 

n ;-u^^r 



THE HIGHWAY THAT GOES TO THE SEA. A PORTION OF THE MOTOR ROAD 
BUILT ON OLD RAILWAY BRIDGES IN SOUTHERN FLORIDA. THE BRIDGE- 
HIGHWAY SYSTEM CONNECTS KEY WEST WITH THE MAINLAND 

the chief operating place of men who made a living by the 
simple expedient of looting ships they had wrecked by chang- 
ing navigation markers. 

In 1822 the United States Navy cleaned up Key West. A 
naval base was established, providing the little city with 
almost its first legitimate trade. As cigar makers from 
Cuba moved in the city grew, and at one time its rich Havana 
cigars were famous the world over. 

Key West reached the zenith of its prosperity during the 
Spanish-American War. Naval and military operations out 
of Key West brought thousands of ready purchasers to the 
city, and trade boomed. 

Later connected with the mainland by a railroad which 
ran over a series of II bridges from key to key, and served 
by regular ship lines to Tampa and Havana, Key West had 
ready access to the markets of the world. But conditions 
changed. Cigar manufacturers began moving to the main- 
land to be nearer their markets. As factories left, workers 



242 



either went with them or remained without employment. 
By 1935 a large percentage of the population of Key West 
was receiving Federal relief money. 

Key West has weathered many hurricanes. It was 
excited but not dismayed when in 1935 ominous storm warn- 
ings once more appeared. But this hurricane was different. 
The winds were more furious than ever before. The sea 
waves rose to tremendous heights. Key West itself was 
spared, but its life line was gone! The railroad bed on the 
keys was washed away. The rails were twisted; communi- 
cation, except by water, was cut off. 

Key West then began its long uphill job of rehabilitation. 
When the railroad announced that it would abandon its 
line, some of the citizens almost lost hope. But, said the 
railroad, if anybody wanted to buy the right-of-way, it was 
willing to sell. Engineers put their heads together and 
announced that it would be possible to convert the railway 
causeway into a highway if money could only be found. 

The money was found. PWA, organized to meet just 
such situations, lent $3,600,000 to a special-tax district set-up 
to buy and operate the new causeway. Plans were rushed 
and hundreds of men who needed jobs were soon busy at 
work turning the railway into a 2o-foot wide, hard-surfaced 
road 34 miles long. 

The new road system swings south and eastward from the 
extreme tip of Florida through the sparkling waters of the 
Gulf, the waves of the Atlantic beating on one side and waters 
of the Straits of Florida on the other. It loops from key to 
key, jumping over water gaps on converted railroad bridges, 
including one 7 miles long, held to be the longest bridge in the 
world entirely over water. At the Bahia Hondu Bridge, the 
highway soars over the top truss spans, 60 feet above the 
water. Trains crossed this particular bridge at grade level, 
but because of the narrow space of 14 feet which was suf- 
ficient for trains but insufficient for a highway, the roadway 
has been lifted to the top of the girders, far above the former 
rails. Completion of the system is regarded as an outstand- 
ing engineering accomplishment. 



243 



Without the railway, Key West had only ferry service to 
the mainland. By auto or bus and ferry one could make the 
trip in a full day sometimes in longer time if the ferry got 
stuck on a sand bar. The trip cost $3. 

Today a motorist can reach Key West from the mainland, 
a distance of 145 miles, in less than 4 hours, soaring across 
the beautiful waters. The cost of the trip is a dollar for the 
car, and a quarter for each passenger. 

And today business at Key West is looking up. Hours 
closer to Miami and Tampa, tourists are beginning to flock 
to the city at the southernmost end of the United States. In 
the first 9 months of operation, the new highway bridge 
system was used by 108,000 vehicles carrying 195,000 pas- 
sengers. Now citizens of Key West work hopefully to in- 
crease their tourist industry, seeing in it a means toward 
economic self-support. 

Summary of data 

APPLICANT: OVERSEAS ROAD AND TOLL-BRIDGE DISTRICT 
(MONROE COUNTY) 

Loan 3,600,000 

Estimated cost $3,600,000 

Started, November 30, 1936. 
Completed, September 21, 1938. 
Opened full length, March 29, 1938. 

Man-hours (on site) 1,464,890 

Man-hours (off Site) 1,526,400 

Total man-hours 2,991,890 

Wages (on site) $781,116 

Value of material orders $1,011, 471 

Origin of material orders (States, primarily 

Florida) 13 

CASE No. 6 

California A School Program 

At 5:54 p. m., on March 10, 1933, the people of Los 
Angeles, Long Beach, and other southern California cities 
and towns suddenly began to feel the ground sway beneath 
their feet. 



2 44 




'#**- aim 




BEFORE AND AFTER. THE OLD HUNTINGTON PARK HIGH SCHOOL (TOP 
PHOTO) IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, AS IT LOOKED IN 1933 BEFORE IT 
BURNED FOLLOWING A GAS EXPLOSION. THE BUILDING WAS COMPLETELY 
DESTROYED (MIDDLE PHOTO). THE NEW SCHOOL (BOTTOM PHOTO), LIKE 
HUNDREDS OF OTHERS IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA WAS BUILT TO WITHSTAND 

EARTHQUAKES 



r 1 



In a little while, however, it was over. The earth, with a 
few resigning sighs, returned to its normal complacency. 
Once the early surprise and shock was over, the people turned 
to their usual pursuits, but municipal officials were left with 
a building reconstruction problem on their hands. 

No city was ever built as was Los Angeles. Founded in 
1781, it had only 1,200 population 50 years later. General 
Fremont came in 1846 and raised the Stars and Stripes but 
Los Angeles remained the sleepy Mexican pueblo it had been. 
Then finally the railroads sent their shining tracks westward 
and southward and things began to happen. 

In 1909 Los Angeles began to split its chrysalis. It ab- 
sorbed most of its smaller neighbors. It reached out 30 miles 
to the sea and became one of the Nation's great ports. It 
finally included 441 square miles within its borders. 

Such rapid growth, unequalled by that of any other city in 
the history of the world, brought along problems such as no 
other city has ever had to face. And one of those great prob- 
lems was that of building a school system capable of constant 
expansion. 

At the time of the earthquake in 1933 the schools of Los 
Angeles included every type of building, many of which had 
been hurriedly constructed without too much regard for 
permanency and safety. The metropolitan Los Angeles area 
had been a promoter's dream. Subdivision after subdivision 
had increased its size. In some of them, schools were built 
to attract residents before houses were constructed. In addi- 
tion, numbers of towns and cities had been merged with the 
the city of Los Angeles and each of these had its own system 
of schools, separately planned and built. 

Schools were not in session when the earthquake rumbled 
through the Los Angeles area in 1933. But what if they 
had been? At Long Beach every school had crumpled under 
the strain or had been made unsafe for use. All through the 
area cracks showed in walls, once believed secure founda- 
tions were torn apart. Another earthquake and the buildings 
that withstood the first might fall, and the people of Los 
Angeles had nearly 240,000 children in those schools. 



246 



The California Legislature acted. It passed a bill requiring 
all plans for schools to be passed by a State board of archi- 
tecture, setting up standards of construction which, at that 
time only, a few schools in the State could meet. The legis- 
lation placed definite responsibility on school boards for 
bringing existing buildings up to earthquake-standard con- 
struction. 

The city and county of Los Angeles was faced with the 
problem of rebuilding its entire school system, one of the 
largest in the country. And this was at a time when business 
was at a standstill and the cost of such a program appeared 
to be far greater than the citizens could meet. Then, with 
the organization of PWA, a bright ray of hope appeared 
Federal funds could be used for the double purpose of meeting 
the school-building crisis and alleviating the economic distress 
which was then current. 

A board of 48 architects, engineers, and construction 
experts was appointed by the Los Angeles Board of Education. 
First the board of consultants examined all the school build- 
ings to determine which were not fit for reoccupancy. Sixty 
masonry structures were immediately removed from use. 
After further study the board made its recommendations as 
to replacements and improvements. Then in earnest began 
the largest school building and rehabilitation program ever 
undertaken. 

For nearly 3 years the sound of hammers could be heard in 
every section of Los Angeles County as workmen tore down 
buildings marked unsafe and as others went up in their places. 
Architects and engineers busied themselves with thousands 
of blueprints and drawings. On project sites the sign 
"Skilled Workmen Wanted" went up. Contractors ordered 
additional equipment. Solidly built schools rapidly began 
to replace the tents, bungalows, and temporary shelters that 
were set aside for the children. 

The result 536 buildings rehabilitated or constructed. 
The cost $34,144,000, of which the PWA furnished loans 
and grants totaling $i 8, 424,727. 

Today the Los Angeles area has one of the Nation's most 



247 



modern systems of schools, built for today's needs, and 
moreover, built to withstand earth shocks greater than those 
experienced in the past. It is hoped that the schools of Los 
Angeles and other cities in the country may never need the 
extra margin of safety built into them. 

Summary of data 

APPLICANTS: BOARD OF EDUCATION, CITY OF Los ANGELES 
SCHOOL BOARD, Los ANGELES COUNTY 

Loan__ 35,347,000 

Grant... _ 313,077,727 

Estimated cost_ _ _ _ 334 , 144 , 063 
Started, August 7, 1934. 
Completed, April 27, 1938. 

Man-hours (on site) _ . 1 1 , 388 , 743 

Man-hours (off site) _ . 15 , 419 , 000 

Total man-hours _ _ _ _ 26 , 807 , 743 

Wages (on site).. _ 310,547,198 

Value of material orders__ 311,942,418 

Origin of material orders (States) 17 

CASE No. 7 

Colorado A Water Supply System 

The average yearly rainfall at Atlanta is 48 inches; at 
New York it is 43; at St. Louis, 37. But at Denver it is 
only 14. 

Scarcity of rainfall in itself is enough to create a water 
supply problem but this was not the only problem at Denver. 
Since water rights in the semi-arid Mountain States are held 
for beneficial use on a first come, first served, basis, Denver's 
rights to the waters of the South Platte River were subject 
to prior rights of users for irrigation. Every year in the 
early part of this century, Denver's population was going 
up and its water supply was falling below the ordinary needs. 

Denver now has solved its water-supply problem. 

The story begins in 1917 when Denver bought out the pri- 
vate company which had been supplying the city with water. 

248 










TWO VIEWS OF THE SPECTACULAR DENVER WATER SUPPLY PROJECT, FAMIL- 
IARLY KNOWN AS THE MOFFAT TUNNEL PROJECT. UPPER PHOTO SHOWS 
STILLING BASIN AND CONCRETE-LINED CHUTE AT INTAKE TO RALSTON RES- 
ERVOIR. THIS WATER FROM THE WESTERN SLOPE HAS JUST DESCENDED 
THROUGH A HUGE CONCRETE BOX CHUTE AND IS BEING CALMED IN THE 
STILLING BASIN BEFORE FLOWING ON TOWARD RALSTON DAM. LOWER 
PHOTO SHOWS III-INCH SIPHON NO. I IN SOUTH BOULDER CANYON, PART OF 
THE SOUTH BOULDER DIVERSION CONDUIT 



Shortly after the purchase, the city found that water in 
Lake Cheesman, the main reservoir, was rapidly diminishing. 
Then began plans for the spectacular water-development 
program which was to follow. 

To the west of Denver the Rockies rise. On the western 
slope the melting snows feed the Colorado with clear, pure 
water. If Denver could reach across the mountains and 
obtain water from those snows its problem would be solved. 

The Denver area also had a transportation problem on its 
hands. Railroad traffic was forced to cross the mountains 
at Rollins Pass at an elevation of more than 11,000 feet. 
The steep grades made the passage slow and difficult. Engi- 
neers made plans which not only would eliminate dangerous 
grades and cut miles from the railroad's crossing the Conti- 
nental Divide, but which also would provide an eventual 
solution for the Denver water-supply problem. 

After surveys were made in 1920 and 1921, the Colorado 
Legislature set up a Moffat Tunnel District for the purpose 
of issuing bonds to finance the boring of a tunnel 6 miles 
long through the mountains. So as to speed up construc- 
tion of the tunnel, a pilot tunnel 75 feet from the main tunnel, 
was first cut through the mountain in order that men could 
work on the main tunnel in many places at once rather than 
merely at both ends. The pilot tunnel, the engineers said, 
could later be used to bring water from the western to the 
eastern slope. 

On completion of the great Moffat railroad tunnel, the 
city of Denver leased the smaller pilot tunnel and began a 
few improvements with the hope that some day funds would 
be available to put it in condition for use as a water conduit. 

Then came the most serious drought known since the settle- 
ment of Colorado and the demand for water rose to unprec- 
edented peaks. The reserve water supply of Denver fell 
to 36,000 acre-feet. Denver was forced to buy water con- 
stantly from the holders of irrigation rights. 

As the demand for adequate water supply grew, citizens 
turned hopefully to the tunnel. But no money was available 
either to recondition the tunnel, or to bring water to its west- 



250 



ern mouth, or to pipe it to Denver once it came through the 
mountains. At that time with business at a standstill, banks 
were unwilling to put money into such an enterprise. 

With the organization of PWA, Denver found a way to 
meet its needs. PWA had been planned to generate con- 
struction of useful projects which otherwise could not be 
built. Denver had a perfect case. It faced an emergency 
in relation to its water supply, it faced an equally great 
emergency in finding useful jobs for many of its citizens, and 
its industries, like those of the rest of the country, needed 
the stimulation which would be provided with a large amount 
of construction. Denver obtained a PWA grant. 

The first project Denver set up included plans for collecting 
water from creeks and rivers over a loo-mile watershed on 
the western side of the Continental Divide. The water was 
to be brought by conduits to the western portal of the tunnel, 
hewn from the solid rock of James Peak, sent under pressure 
to the apex of the tunnel and flowed into Boulder Creek on 
the eastern slope by gravity and down 23 miles to a diversion 
dam and then across the plains through a system of siphons, 
tunnels, and conduits to Ralston Creek Reservoir. From 
there it could be diverted to the Denver supply system or 
allowed to flow into the South Platte River for the use of 
irrigation districts below Denver. 

After work began a second project was added for equip- 
ment which would give high-pressure service to pipe the water 
to the residents. The total cost of the two projects was 
^9,567,500 of which PWA provided $4,006,225. 

With the completion of the projects Denver's reserve of 
stored water steadily rose. It has been estimated that at 
the end of 1939 the city will have available 220,000 acre-feet 
of water enough to meet the needs of the metropolitan area 
for 2 whole years and at the same time supply additional 
water for irrigation below the city. 



251 



Summary of data 
APPLICANT: BOARD OF WATER COMMISSIONERS (DENVER) 

Loan__ 450,000 

Grant 3,556,225 

Estimated cost 9,567,500 

Started, February 12, 1935. 
Completed, January 15, 1938. 

Man-hours (on site) 3,105,789 

Man-hours (off site) 4,921,200 

Total man-hours__ 8,026,989 

Wages (on site). 2,646,587 

Value of material orders 4,242,288 

Origin of material orders (States) 18 

CASE No. 8 

Washington University Building 

When the black lines on business charts and graphs were 
generally reaching for the bottom, there was at least one 
notable exception the number of students in most of the 
publicly owned colleges and universities continued to rise. 

As the depression set in during the fall of 1929, most 
educators believed that there would be a corresponding drop 
in enrollment. There was a decrease in the size of student 
bodies in a number of the smaller private colleges. But the 
big State institutions continued to grow. And many of 
them, including the University of Washington, were unpre- 
pared. 

There were a number of reasons behind the increase. In 
the first place the continued development of the secondary 
school system had made more students eligible for college. 
In the second place, with few jobs available, many youngsters 
went to college, or stayed longer, rather than be idle. Most 
important, parents as well as students felt that in a world 
in which competition for jobs was growing greater, the 
college-educated girl or boy seemed to have a better chance 
for employment. 

The University of Washington, like many another institu- 



252 



tion, found in 1933 that the buildings which it had erected 
in the twenties, and before that, were already filled to over- 
flowing. Although registration was rising, nonstudent in- 
come was falling off. Thus when the need for expansion 
became most acute, the financial means for such expansion 
had fallen to their lowest ebb. Except for the help of the 
PWA, students might have been turned down entirely, or 
given training with inadequate facilities and equipment. 

The university, established in 1861, had so grown by 1895, 
that the campus was moved from downtown Seattle to the 
shores of Lake Washington. By 1900 it had a student body 
of 1,500. By 1915 the board of regents authorized a "master 
plan" to insure steady growth and uniformity of design of the 
physical properties. Over a period of 18 years, from 1915 to 
1933, the facilities were increased until 22 buildings in the 
familiar collegiate Gothic style had been erected. By 1933, 
however, the enrollment of the university had jumped to 
8,500, and classrooms and dormitories were overcrowded. 

The University of Washington became in 1933 one of the 
first institutions of higher learning to apply for a PWA allot- 
ment. The first building to be constructed was a $459, 869 
wing for the university's cathedral-like library which domi- 
nates the campus. The following year additional PWA 
grants and loans made possible the construction of a group of 
women's residence halls, an infirmary, and additions to the 
power plant with a total cost of $980,000. The dormitories, 
replacing two which were more than 40 years old, added 
distinction to the campus with their fourteenth century 
Tudor manor house design. The new infirmary, with 75 
beds, replaced an obsolete structure which had once been 
used as a barracks. The new power plant, equipped with 
two steam turbo-generators, was estimated to have saved the 
university $2,000 worth a month in the cost of power pro- 
duction. 

Shortly after the women's residence halls got under con- 
struction workmen began pouring foundations for a $1,075,000 
chemistry-pharmacy building for which PWA had provided 
$481,427. The largest building on the campus, it was de- 



253 




iniw 

iiiini 








DORMITORY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON, SEATTLE. ONE OF 
SEVEN BUILDINGS CONSTRUCTED ON THE CAMPUS TO ACCOMMODATE THE 
INCREASED ENROLLMENT 

signed to contain classroom and laboratory equipment for 
3,000 students. Completion of the building released five 
other buildings, which had previously been used by the 
science students, and these were renovated and turned over 
to other departments of the university. 

Because of the proximity of important aviation manufac- 
turing concerns, of the United States naval base at Sand 
Point, and the Army Air Corps post at McCord Field, in- 
terest in aeronautics always has been great in the Northwest. 
The department of aeronautics, which has within the past 
few years rapidly become one of the most important in the 
college of engineering, needed an aeronautics laboratory. The 
university, with PWA aid, therefore began construction in 
1936 of a wind tunnel to test new types of airplanes. The 
building, consisting of a wind tunnel and testing chamber, 
and also workshops, classrooms and offices, was completed 



254 



the following year at a cost of $ 126,1 60. This structure pro- 
vided the college with complete facilities for the study of 
aerodynamics. 

The building program was continued in 1937 and 1938 with 
construction of an indoor swimming pool in a new wing of the 
physical-education building. The addition, costing $206,600, 
afforded students opportunities for swimming instruction and 
recreation for the first time in the history of the university. 

The seven buildings, representing an investment of almost 
$2,850,000, made possible a long step forward in the develop- 
ment of the university. The enrollment jumped from 8,748 
in 1934, when the first PWA-financed building was con- 
structed, to nearly 11,000 in the fall of 1938. 

Summary of data 
APPLICANT: UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON (SEATTLE) 

Loans 3435,000 

Grants 31,006,821 

Total estimated cost 32,847,635 

Started, February 7, 1934. 
Completed, September 30, 1938. 

Man-hours (on site) 759 , 369 

Man-hours (off site) 1,287,000 

Total man-hours 2,046,369 

Wages (on site) 3711,580 

Value of material orders 31,375,691 

Origin of material orders (States) 16 

CASE No. 9 
Alabama A Water Supply System 

The town of Wilton, in Shelby County, Ala., is typical of 
many smaller communities which have outgrown the well- 
and-bucket era, and have installed modern water systems. 

Wilton (population 562, according to the 1930 census) is 
located in the industrial part of the State at the intersection 
of an important State highway and a mainline railroad. Its 
residents derive their income principally from the railroad 



255 



shops and the nearby Montevallo coal fields. For years 
these citizens had looked forward to the day when they would 
no longer have to depend upon wells, cisterns, and rain 
barrels for their water, and could rely upon a tank and faucet. 
And now the miracle of running water has come to pass. 

In the fall of 1936, the acting mayor of Wilton wrote a 
letter to PWA in support of the town's application for a 
waterworks project. He wrote, in part, as follows: 

I would like to find out, if there is any possible way, that we might get 
emergency aid along this line, as our case has grown to be actually an 
emergency. This dry summer we have had has dried up almost all our 
water supply namely, cisterns and we are right up against it for water. 
About half the population at the present time is having to haul water, in 
barrels, which you can see is very unsanitary and unhealthy. We are 
having a world of sickness here at the present time, caused from nothing 
else but impure water. 

Should the health department visit this place on an inspection of the 
water conditions, all of our water would be condemned. Then what 
would we do? 

We would have to have some aid. 

And for this reason, alone, I think our project one of the most deserving, 
worth while, projects that has ever made application to the PWA for help. 
We would gladly issue bonds and put up 55 percent of the project, but 
revenue bonds are the only kind we could issue, and on investigation we 
find positively no sale in Alabama for revenue bonds. We are willing to 
do anything possible to get water. Won't you please help us? 

Investigation by the PWA in the field indicated that the 
picture was not overdrawn. Water had to be carted many 
miles in the summer. The few private wells which existed, 
dried up in July. Four houses had burned to the ground 
within 2 years through lack of water to check the flames. 
Examiners found the project to be technically and economi- 
cally sound, and an allotment was made. 

Construction started in the winter of 1937, and before 
spring, 10 weeks less 2 days later, Wilton had a new water- 
works system. A natural spring with a minimum daily flow 
of 150,000 gallons was curbed. Workers built a pump house 
and installed chlorinating equipment and a loo-gallons per 
minute centrifugal pump driven by a 7/2 horsepower motor. 
On top of a hill they erected a tall, ioo,ooo-gallon storage 

256 




WILTON, ALA., WATERWORKS SHOWING THE NEW IOCXOOO GALLON STORAGE 
TANK, WHICH TOGETHER WITH A PUMPING SYSTEM AND OTHER FACIL- 
ITIES HAS REPLACED THE OLD-FASHIONED, UNRELIABLE WELLS AND 

STORAGE TANKS 

tank, connected with 5,600 feet of cast-iron pipe. They laid 
an additional 13,800 feet of 2- and 4-inch pipe, and installed 
service connections and meters to provide the distribution 
through which the water, by gravity, was to reach the 
consumers. 

No miracle of engineering was performed here, but the 
results of the improvement have made a lot of difference to 
the citizenry. Home owners, merchants, garage operators, 
and school children find their PWA project not only a great 
convenience, but also a protector against some of the hazards 
of fire and disease. 



Summary of data 
APPLICANT: TOWN OF WILTON 



Loan 

Grant 

Estimated cost 



317,000 
313,909 
330,909 



257 



Started, January 8, 1937. 
Completed, March 17, 1937. 

Man-hours (on site) 6,033 

Man-hours (off site) _ . 22 , 700 

Total man-hours 28, 733 

Wages (on site) _ . 33,176 

Value of material orders $17 , 899 

Origin of material orders (States, primarily 

Alabama) 10 

CASE No. 10 

Ohio A Flood-Reduction Project 

Ever since the first white settlers located in southeastern 
Ohio, the Muskingum River and the tributaries with which it 
drains one-fifth of the total area of that State, have overrun 
their banks. 

Floods frequently have occurred there; small ones often 
and great ones at longer intervals. Residents early found 
that communities which, for the most part, were located on 
waterways for transportation and power advantages were 
unprotected when flood waters came swirling down upon 
them. 

Thus the Muskingum proper, which is formed by the junc- 
tion of the Walhonding and the Tuscarawas Rivers and flows 
south into the Ohio at Marietta, has, together with the 
tributaries in its 8,000 square-mile drainage area, taken a 
heavy toll. What efforts were made to cope with the problem 
proved inadequate. The threat to the lives of 675,000 inhab- 
itants and millions of dollars worth of property was ever 
present. 

In March 1913 there occurred the greatest of these floods 
on record. Then, angry waters rolled over whole cities and 
thousands of farm acres. Many lives were imperiled; much 
property was destroyed. Families were left homeless and 
without means of livelihood. Cities and counties spent 
$3, 000,000 to repair roads and bridges alone. Other floods 
followed. 



258 




CONTROL GATES ON THE BOLIVAR DAM, ONE OF 14 DAMS CONSTRUCTED 
IN THE MUSKINGUM VALLEY OF OHIO FOR FLOOD REDUCTION 



The early settlers had found along the Muskingum a rich, 
fertile region, and this they put to use. But intensive grazing 
and cultivation, along with deforestation, contributed to ero- 
sion of the land. Much of the rich topsoil was washed away 
by erosion and floods. The once fertile area came to face 
serious economic problems. 

When the residents went wearily back to their mud-buried 
homes in 1913 they knew that the rivers and streams had to 
be shackled if they ever were to live there in safety. Agita- 
tion for flood control grew, increasing with each flood. 

Legislative pioneering by the Ohio State Legislature 
brought passage, in 1914, of authority for creation of what 
were to be known as conservancy districts. Then a State 
survey led to the conclusion that it would be feasible to plan 
and execute a comprehensive flood-control and water-con- 
servation program for the entire watershed. But the cost of 
such a program was greater than local interests could bear. 

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, a public 



259 



corporation, was organized. A preliminary plan of flood 
control and conservation was drafted and, in August 1933, the 
district applied to PWA for financial assistance. 

Fourteen dams, including i concrete and 13 earth-filled, 
were to be constructed along the Walhonding and the Tus- 
carawas Rivers and on Wills Creek, another tributary of the 
Muskingum. These and the reservoirs thus created were to 
hold back and store water at their sources. The flow into 
the Muskingum would be retarded in flood times and 
increased in low water periods. 

The greatest earth-moving process ever undertaken in the 
East would have to be attempted. The entire region would 
have to undergo a face-lifting. Many miles of railroad and 
utility lines of highways would have to be relocated. Some 
whole villages would have to be moved. The cost of the 
undertaking was estimated at $44,000,000. 

PWA allotted the project $22,090,000 as a Federal grant 
for construction to be undertaken by the United States Army 
Corps of Engineers. Other grants later increased the amount 
of Federal participation to $27,190,000. The State highway 
commission put up money to relocate highways, the conserv- 
ancy district agreed to furnish lands and rights-of-way 
through funds provided by landowners and the State legis- 
lature. 

The United States Corps of Army Engineers supervised the 
job of bringing the plan to realization. Before the end of the 
year, bids had been taken on three dams. Soon work was 
under way. Men who otherwise would have been unem- 
ployed went to work on the construction sites, building the 
Charles Mill Reservoir on Black Fork, the Piedmont on Still- 
water Creek, and the others elsewhere. From the valleys 
rolled a stream of material orders which meant jobs for other 
men in mines, mills, and factories. 

The Charles Mill Dam was the first completed, being 
finished in August 1936, and others were ready shortly 
thereafter. 

Within 4 years, all 14 dams, ranging in size up to 6,300 
feet long in the case of Bolivar Dam on Sandy Creek and 



260 



to 1 13 feet high in the case of Pleasant Hill on Clear Fork, 
had been constructed, dams which it was estimated were 
capable of holding back a maximum of 20,000 million tons 
of water. Eleven new lakes, with a shore line of more than 
200 miles, were created. 

To bring the project to completion required such under- 
takings as the moving of 65 miles of railway, 140 miles of 
highway, 50 bridges, and enough earth to build a great wall 
12 feet high and 6 feet wide a distance equal to that between 
New York and Chicago. 

Along with flood reduction went the offensive against 
erosion. Here, as in the reservoir construction, was an 
example of Federal, State, and local cooperation toward a 
common end, the restoration of the 100- by i4O-mile area 
toward its once fertile, prosperous condition. 

The Soil Conservation Service, the Forest Service, the 
Biological Survey, WPA, CCC, and NYA were among the 
Federal agencies taking part in the program through which 
Muskingum became the greatest conservation laboratory in 
the country. 

Extensive control programs were put under way. Re- 
forestation and afforestation began. Wildlife restoration 
was launched around the new lakes. Recreational develop- 
ments were started. 

Again the chilling alarm of floods spread through Ohio in 
1938. Muskingum residents read in their newspapers or 
heard on their radios the story of advancing waters and 
accompanying destruction. But Muskingum's inhabitants 
went about their normal business, concerned about Ohioans 
elsewhere but knowing that they, themselves, were fairly 
secure. The violence of riotous floods had been banished 
from Muskingum. The valley of Muskingum had become 
"protected valley." 



261 



Appendix 



263 



What PWA Has Accomplished 
to March 1, 1939 

PWA has allotted funds for public works in 3,069 of the 

Nation's 3,071 counties for 
15,940 Federal projects under NIRA costing__ __$! ,567,533 ,029 

1 ,840 Federal projects under PWA 1938 costing 199,999,207 

51 low-rent housing projects costing l 136,669.759 

3,734 non-Federal projects under NIRA costing 1,309,084,152 

3,804 non-Federal projects under ERA 1935 and sup- 
plemental costing .__ 792,878,629 

. 1 , 768 non-Federal projects under FDA 1936 costing. _ 393 ,323 ,050 
1,191 non-Federal projects under PWAE 1937 cost- 
ing . __ 261,278,132 
6, 180 non-Federal projects under PWAA 1938 cost- 
ing 1,425,223,488 



34,508 projects costing 6,085,989,446 

Projects completed or under construction: 

26,508 projects completed costing.. 3,779,852,280 

7,940 projects under construction costing 2,291,382,507 

Contracts have been awarded on 2 percent ' 

Federal projects under NIRA 99.9 1,565,533,029 

Federal projects under PWAA 1938 98.3 196,699.207 

Non-Federal projects under NIRA 99.8 1,306,901,952 

Non-Federal projects under ERA 1935 and 

supplemental 99.9 792,358,629 

Non-Federal projects under FDA 1936__ 99.9 393,159,414 

Non-Federal projects under PWAE 1937 99.8 260,690,632 

Non-Federal projects under PWAA 1938_ _ 99.9 1 ,423 ,895 ,638 



Total 99.8 5,939,238,501 

There has been spent on PWA projects: 

Forwages__ 1,205,451,900 

For materials 2,174,833,430 

Man-hours of employment provided by expenditures: 

1. At site of construction. __ 1,714,797,910 

2. Production of raw materials, transportation, and 

fabrication. _ - 3,179,000,000 

1 Figures as of November 1, 1937, the date on which these projects were transferred to the 
Housing Authority. 

2 Includes force account, but excludes housing projects. 



264 



Revenue Bond Laws 

The so-called revenue bond laws recently enacted contain certain 
essential and standard provisions. Among the more prominent and 
characteristic provisions are the following: 

1. A definition of what undertakings may be considered to be classified 
as revenue producing under the terms of the act and therefore subject to 
financing on the revenue bond basis contemplated by the statute. Also a 
definition of the type and character of public corporations which would be 
eligible to make use of the statute in this manner. 

2. The extension of necessary powers to municipalities or other public 
corporations to permit a maximum use of the authority delegated in the 
act to such public bodies. 

3. The general method and form of authorizing the construction or 
acquisition of undertakings contemplated in the act, and the financing of 
the same by the issuance of bonds thereunder. 

4. The extension of power to make covenants with bondholders in a 
broad sense in order to effectuate the purposes of the act, especially with 
respect to the provisions necessary to render the securities offered accept- 
able from an investment standpoint. 

5. A definition of the lien of the securities issued under the statute with 
respect to existing obligations and to those which may subsequently be 
authorized to provide for extensions or improvements. Likewise a defini- 
tion of the responsibility of municipalities with respect to the ultimate 
repayment of the securities issued. Many statutes give no right to have 
a foreclosure sale of the properties. The bondholders' remedies are (i) a 
court order to maintain sufficient rates and (2) the appointment by a court 
of a receiver to operate so long as interest or principal is in default. 

Broad provisions indicating the use to which the revenues of an under- 
taking may be put, and a declaration of the duties of the municipality 
acquiring it in respect to the self-supporting features of the project. 

Many acts, likewise, provide for the consent and jurisdiction of State 
and municipal agencies, provisions against competing undertakings, and 
a description of the extent to which the bonds and the income therefrom 
may be subject to taxation. 



265 



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TABLE 1. Status report of all appropriations 
[As of Mar. 1, 1939] 



Allocations 


National industrial 
recovery appro- 
priation 


Emergency Appro- 
priation Act, fiscal 
year 1935 


Emergency Relief 
Appropriation 
Act, 1935 


Total appropriations or by sales of securities. 


33,300,000, 000. 00 


3394,000,000.00 


3495,389,124.69 


Deduct: 
Statutory allotments, impoundments, and 
transfers to other Federal departments, 
bureaus, agencies, etc __ 


2,608,740,358.24 


276,217,542.92 


74,179,397 95 


Funds transferred to U. S. Housing Authority 
and Puerto Rican Reconstruction Admin- 


28,805,459.72 




107,870.289 00 










Total 


2,637,545,817.96 


276,217,542.92 


182,049,686.95 


Amount available and obligated for Public Works 
Administration program 


662,454,182.04 


117,782,457.08 


313,339,437.74 


Expenditures of available funds for loans and grants 
to States, municipalities, railroads, and other 
public bodies, including administrative expense: 
Year ended une 30, 1934 


162,197,679.89 






Year ended une 30, 1935 


262,734,007.88 


34,668,484.65 




Year ended une 30 1936 


129,061,129.27 


40,517,046 53 


113 583 336 21 


Year ended une 30, 1937 - . 


62,762,994.91 


24,536,295.38 


116,612,257 27 


Year ended une 30 1938 


20,581,753.10 


10,027,559.65 


54 670 219 52 


Period July 1 1938 to Feb 28 1939 


6,854,890.40 


2,213,937 48 


9 465 048 22 












644,192,455.45 


111,963,323 69 


294 330 861 22 










Unexpended balance as of Mar. 1, 1939 


18,261,726.59 


5,819,133.39 


19 008 576 52 











Allocations 


Deficiency re- 
volving fund 


First Deficiency 
Appropriation 
Act, 1936 


Public Works 
Administration 
Appropriation 
Act, 1938 


Grand total 


Total appropriations or by 


3597,551,687.39 


3291 359 861 91 


3965 000 000 00 


36 043 300 673 99 












Deduct: 
Statutory allotments, im- 
poundments, and transfers 
to other Federal depart- 
ments, bureaus, agencies, 


291,359,861.91 




205,999,206.91 


3,456,496,367 93 


Funds transferred to U. S. 
Housing Authority and 
Puerto Rican Recon- 
construction Administra- 
tion 








136,675,748.72 












Total 


291,359,861 91 




205 999 206 91 


3 593 172 116 65 












Amount available and obligated for 
Public Works Administration 
Program 


306,191,825.48 


291,359,861.91 


759,000,793.09 


2,450,128,557.34 


Expenditures of available funds 
for loans and grants to States, 
municipalities, railroads, and 
other public bodies including 
administrative expense: 
Year ended June 30, 1934 








162,197,679.89 


Year ended June 30, 1935 


9,854,000.00 






307,256,492.53 


Year ended June 30 1936 


119,503,984.61 






402,665,496.62 


Year ended June 30, 1937 


66,508,410.47 


57,081,464.92 




327,501,422.95 


Year ended June 30, 1938 


33,567,997.58 


106,032,778.71 




224,880,308.56 


Period July 1, 1938 to Feb. 28, 
1939 


21,476,000.00 


48,519,750.32 


185,968,648.65 


274,498,275.07 














250 910 392 66 


211,633,993.95 


185,968,648.65 


1,698,999,675 62 












Unexpended balance as of Mar. 1, 
1939 


55,281,432.82 


79,725,867.96 


573,032,144.44 


1 751,128,881.72 













1 All but 315,000,000 of this amount is obligated. 



272 



TABLE 2. Value of material orders placed for projects financed by PW 'A funds, 
July 1933 to March 1939 

All materials 32,174,833,431 

Textiles and their products 4, 243, 589 

Awnings, tents, canvas, etc 337, 037 

Carpets and rugs 210, 418 

Cordage and twine 389, 134 

Cotton goods 192,829 

Felt goods 269, 196 

jute goods 131, 136 

Linoleum 2,478,563 

Sacks and bags 58,072 

Upholstering materials, not elsewhere classified 141, 579 

Waste ____ 35,625 

Forest products 144,466,389 

Cork products 671, 534 

Lumber and timber products, not elsewhere classified 109, 887, 806 

Planing-mill products____ 33,263,992 

Window and door screens and weatherstrip 643, 057 

Chemicals and allied products 19,498,648 

Ammunition and related products 1, 226, 828 

Chemicals, miscellaneous 613, 981 

Compressed and liquefied gases 583, 872 

Explosives 8, 175, 440 

Paints and varnishes 8,898,527 

Stone, clay and glass products 619,007, 376 

Asbestos products, not elsewhere class ified 678, 046 

Brick, hollow tile and other clay products 78,028,053 

Cement . 211,222,795 

Concrete products 78, 607, 065 

Crushed stone 57, 205, 209 

Glass 5,670,792 

Lime 878,234 

Marble, granite, slate and other stone products 45,096,324 

Minerals and earths, ground or otherwise treated 346, 217 

Sand and gravel 114,061,047 

Tiling, floor and wall, and terrazzo 10, 774, 829 

Wall plaster, wallboard, and insulating board 16,438,765 

Iron and steel and their products, not including machinery 612, 600, 469 

Bolts, nuts, washers, etc 6,930, 874 

Cast-iron pipe and fittings 66, 635, 464 

Doors, shutters and window sash and frames, molding and trim 

(metal) 28,742,075 

Firearms 809,012 

Forgings, iron and steel 8, 815, 660 

Hardware, miscellaneous 22, 403, 982 

Heating and ventilating equipment 67, 495, 3 10 

Nails and spikes 3, 241, 344 

Rail fastenings, excluding spikes 6, 626, 272 

Rails, steel 23,912,123 

Springs, steel _ 630,176 

Steel-works and rolling-mill products, not elsewhere classified 113, 182, 643 

Stoves and ranges, other than electric 849, 599 

Structural and reinforcing steel 226, 452, 427 

Prepared in the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Division of Construction and Public Employment. 



2 73 



TABLE 2. Value of material orders placed for projects financed by PWAjunds, 
' July 1933 ot March 1939 Continued 

Iron and steel and their products Continued. 

Switches, railway 31,223,982 

Tools, other than machine tools 6, 549, 439 

Wire products, not elsewhere classified 12, 475, 197 

Wroughtpipe 15,624,890 

Nonferrous metals and their products 20, 053, 523 

Aluminum manufactures 1, 125, 578 

Copper products 2,731,986 

Lead products 920,066 

Nonferrous-metal alloys and products, not elsewhere classified 3, 158, 522 

Sheet-metal work____l 12,041,543 

Zinc products 75, 828 

Machinery, not including transportation equipment 356,264,837 

Electrical machinery, apparatus, and supplies 94, 742, 776 

Elevators and elevator equipment 11,418, 672 

Engine, turbines, tractors, and waterwheels 34, 028, 486 

Foundry and machine shop products, not elsewhere classified 175, 414, 183 

Machine tools 8,920,723 

Meters (gas, water, etc.) and gas generators 2,001,747 

Pumps and pumping equipment 25, 685, 708 

Refrigerators and refrigerating and ice-making apparatus 4, 052, 542 

Transportation equipment, air, land, and water 91, 031, 392 

Aircraft (new) 6,036,370 

Airplane parts 5, 086, 654 

Boats, steel and wooden (small) 1, 631, 837 

Carriages and wagons 65, 044 

Locomotives, other than steam 11, 910, 325 

Locomotives, steam 6, 864, 720 

Motorcycles and parts 274, 395 

Motor vehicles, passenger 534, 354 

Motor vehicles, trucks 10, 484, 482 

Railway cars, freight 38, 820, 468 

Railway cars, mail and express 429, 443 

Railway cars, passenger 8, 893, 300 

Miscellaneous 307, 667, 208 

Belting, miscellaneous 100, 988 

Coal 2,464,591 

Creosote 553,636 

Electric wiring and fixtures 54, 866, 879 

Furniture, including store and office fixtures 26, 623, 560 

Instruments, professional and scientific 2, 423, 744 

Mattresses and bedsprings 167,878 

Models and patterns 64, 876 

Paper products 234, 239 

Paving materials and mixtures, not elsewhere classified 28, 964, 639 

Petroleum products 53, 169, 177 

Photographic apparatus and materials 383, 979 

Plumbing supplies, not elsewhere classified 45, 786, 548 

Radio apparatus and supplies 1, 101, 243 

Roofing materials, not elsewhere classified 13, 538, 097 

Rubber goods 1,387,431 

Steam and other packing, pipe and boiler covering, and gaskets 3, 822, 361 

Theatrical scenery and stage equipment 715, 072 

Window shades and fixtures 949, 579 

Other materials __ 70,348,691 



Prepared in the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Division of Construction and Public Employment. 



274 



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TABLE 4. Summary of securities purchased and under contract to be purchased, by programs 

[As of Feb. 7, 1939] 





Total 


NIRA 1933 
program 


ERA 1935 
program 


FDA 1936 

program 


PWAE 
1937 pro- 
gram 


PWAA 
1938 pro- 
gram 


Municipal securities: 
Unlimited tax obliga- 
tions 


219,498,438 


3184,823,650 


$22,880,935 


$2,360,220 


$2,217 000 


$7 216 633 


Limited tax obliga- 
tions 


21,536,336 


12,383,286 


5,053,050 


592,000 


981,500 


2 526 500 


Special tax obligations 
(payable from taxes 
other than ad valo- 


9,077,893 


8,189,893 


503,000 




385 000 




Revenue obligations 
(payable solely from 
revenues of project 
or system) 


307,464,823 


173,274,473 


73,913,800 


13,743,850 


24,980,000 


21,552,700 


Special revenue obliga- 
tions (additionally 
secured by recourse 
to taxes or other 
funds) . 


15,364,610 


4,895,610 


2,631,500 


2,048,000 


4,186,000 


1,603,500 


Special assessment 
bonds (without re- 
course to general 
taxes) 


5,782,600 


3,347,100 


1,173,500 


235,500 




1,026,500 


Miscellaneous obliga- 
tions 


18,383,810 


7,045,400 


70,000 


1,140,910 


145,000 


9,982,500 




201,029,500 


201,029,500 










Limited dividend housing 


22,175,724 


22,175,724 










Other corporate securities __ 


1,880,607 


1,133,707 


336,900 


191,500 


54,000 


164,500 


Total 


822,194,341 


618,298,343 


106,562,685 


20,311,980 


32,948,500 


44,072,833 

















TABLE 5. Public Works Administration bonds held by Reconstruction Finance Corporation 

Type of bonds Amount 

Unlimited tax obligations payable from unlimited ad valorem taxes 322,081,939 

Limited tax obligations payable from limited ad valorem taxes 2, 551, 975 

Special tax obligations payable from other than ad valorem taxes 163, 000 

Revenue obligations payable solely from project or system revenues 79, 196, 140 

Special revenue obligations, revenue obligation with recourse to taxation or 

general funds 4,616,000 

Special assessment obligations payable solely from special assessments 2, 482, 300 

Miscellaneous obligations of public bodies, bonds and warrants payable from 

delinquent ad valorem collections 1, 707, 529 

Obligations of private corporations including housing loans but excluding 

railroads 11,082,452 

Combination of 2 or more of the above types of security 283, 400 

124, 164,735 

TABLE 6. Summary of allotments, local funds provided for non-Federal projects distributed 

by programs * 
[As of Mar. 1, 1939] 



Programs 


Number 
of 
projects 


Total estimated 
cost 


Allotments 


Local funds 
provided 


Local funds 
to total 
estimated 
cost 




3,702 


$1,097,706,261 


$672,018,434 


$425,687,827 


Percent 
38 81 


ERA 1935 program 


3,804 


792,878,629 


444,638,825 


348,239,804 


43.92 


FDA 1936 program 


1,768 


393,323,050 


179,642,771 


213,680,279 


54.33 


PWAE 1937 program 


1,191 


261,279,132 


144 695 914 


116 582 218 


44 62 


PWAA 1938 program 


6,180 


1,425,223,488 


683,755,318 


741,468,170 


52.02 














Total 


16,645 


3,970 409 560 


2 124 751 262 


1 845 658 298 


46 49 















Exclusive of allotments to railroads, private corporations, and limited dividend housing corporations. 



276 



TABLE 7. Conservation projects which include hydroelectric features financed in whole or in 

part with PWA funds 

NON-FEDERAL PROJECTS 



Project 


Applicant 


Loan 


Grant 


Total 
PWA allot- 
ment 


Total 
estimated 
cost 


Installed 
capacity 
(kw.) 


Arizona: Showlow__ 

California: 
Hetch Hetchy 


Showlow Silver Creek 
Water C. & P. 
District. 

San Francisco City 


3160,000 


366,892 
1,058,000 


3226,892 
1,058,000 


3226,892 
4,335,179 


84 
(i) 


imperial 


and County. 
Imperial Irrigation 


2,563,000 


2,097,000 


4,660,000 


4,660,000 


24,000 


Colorado: 
Colorado Springs 


District. 
City of Colorado 




211,405 


211,405 


469,790 


2,000 




Springs. 
Town of Meeker 




12,272 


12,272 


27,272 


200 


Idaho: Soda Springs 


Soda Springs. __ 




19,636 


19,636 


43,636 


150 




Lockport 




230,000 


230,000 


800,000 


12 000 


Maine: Lewiston 


Lewiston 




102,600 


102,600 


228,000 


(i) 


Michigan: 
Allegan 
Marshall 


Allegan 
Marshall 


345,000 


99,352 
40,886 


444,352 
40,886 


456,000 
90,857 


1,350 
800 


Nebraska: 
Sutherland. _ 


Platte Valley Public 


8,646,000 


2,580,000 


11,226,000 


11,226,000 


25,000 




Power & Irriga- 
tion District. 
Loup River Public 


8,788,000 


4,026,000 


12,814,000 


12,814,000 


45,500 


North Loup. . 


Power District. 
North Loup River 


916,000 


749,000 


1,665,000 


1,665,000 


( a ) 


Tri-County 


Public Power and 
Irrigation District. 
TheCentral Nebraska 


19,793,000 


16,193,000 


35,986,000 


36,516,000 


54,000 


Middle Loup 

North Carolina: 
High Point. 
Oklahoma: Grand 
River. 
Oregon: Enterprise- 
South Carolina: 
Greenwood 
County. 
Santee-Cooper__. 

Abbeville 


Public Power and 
Irrigation District. 
Middle Loup Public 
Power and Irriga- 
tion District. 
City of High Point __ 

Grand River Dam 
Authority. 
Enterprise Irrigation 
District. 

Greenwood County 
Finance Board. 
Santee-Cooper Pub- 
lic Service Au- 
thority. 
City of Abbeville 


765,000 

3,571,000 
11,563,000 
40,000 

3,944,000 
18,865,000 

239,000 


625,909 

2,921,600 
8,437,000 
28,636 

1,291,000 
15,435,000 

196,000 


1,390,909 

6,492,600 
20,000,000 
68,636 

5,235,000 
34,300,000 

435,000 


1,390,909 

6,492,600 
20,000,000 
68,636 

5,235,000 
40,300,000 

570,000 


m 

21,000 
57,000 
600 

21,000 
132,600 

2,000 


Texas: 
Red Bluff . 


Red Bluff Water 


2,206,000 


722,000 


2,928,000 


2,928,000 


2,875 


L. C. R. A 


Control District. 
Lower Colorado 
River Authority. 


15,000,000 


7,350,000 
41,200 


22,350,000 
41,200 


35,630,000 
154,240 


87,000 

(i) 


Utah: 
Parowan 




54,400 


21,670 


76,070 


75,400 


(i) 


Ephraim. 


Ephraim _ 




12,000 


12,000 


26,755 


(i) 


Manti 


Manti 




11,356 


11,356 


25,235 


320 


Brigham 
Virginia: Danville 


Brigham City 
Danville 


-- ---- 


8,280 
1,529,954 


8,280 
1,529,954 


18,400 
3,405,454 


1,120 
10,000 


Washington: 
Ruby Dam 


City of Seattle. . 




3,000,000 


3,000,000 


7,185,000 


(2) 


Spokane 


City of Spokane 




193,500 


193,500 


687,500 


3 900 


Puerto Rico: Garzas. 


People of Puerto 
Rico. 


1,510,000 


1,235,000 


2,745,000 


2,745,000 


9,000 




Total... 


98,968,400 


70,546,148 


169,514,548 


200,496,755 





See footnotes at end of table. 



277 



TABLE 7. Conservation projects which include hydroelectric features financed in whole or in 
part with PWA funds Continued 

FEDERAL PROJECTS 



Project 


Government agency 


PWA Fed- 
eral allot- 
ment 


Total 
estimated 
cost 


Installed 
capacity 


Arizona-Nevada: Boulder Canyon 
California : 
All-American Canal 


Bureau of Reclamation 
do 


338,000,000 
10 000 000 


3135,000,000 
38 500 000 


U, 317, 500 

( 4 ) 


Central Valley (Shasta) __ . 


do- 


2,000,000 


170,000,000 


375 000 


Colorado: Colorado-Big Thompson 


do 


1,150,000 


44 000 000 


3 142 500 


Montana: Fort Peck 




49 531 000 


122 900 000 


5 71 500 


New Mexico: Rio Grande-Elephant 
Butte. 
Tennessee: (TVA) Tennessee Valley 


Army. 
Bureau of Reclamation 

TVA 


2,000,000 
50,000,000 


20,300,000 
494 000 000 


327,000 
5 793 100 


Authority. 
Washington-Oregon: Bonneville 


Corps of Engineers, U. S. 


42,950,000 


75,000,000 


5 86,400 


Washington: Grand Coulee 


Army. 


27 005 000 


394 500 000 


si 944 000 


West Virginia: Tygart 


Corps of Eneineers, U. S. 


10,000,000 


18,300,000 


(6) 


Wyoming: Kendrick 


Army. 
Bureau of Reclamacion 


9,130,000 


20,000,000 


37,500 


Texas: L. C. R. A. Marshall Ford Dam 


do 


11,250,000 




(') 














Total... 


253,016,000 


1,532,500,000 
















Grand total . 


422,530,548 


1.732.996,755 





1 Additions or alterations to existing facilities. 

2 No generation. 

3 Kiloyolt-amperes. 

4 For installation see Imperial project above. 

5 Kilowatts. 

6 No initial installation. 

7 See L. C. R. A. non-Federal project. 

TABLE 8. Non-Federal electric power projects financed in whole or in part with PWA funds 

[As of Mar. 1. 1939] 





Num- 
berof 
proj- 
ects 


Kilowatt 
capacity 
installed 


Loans 


Grants 


Total 
allotment 


Estimated 
total cost 


New electric systems 
Hydro.. . . 


16 


516,955 


376,797,800 


348,736,234 


3125,534,034 


3141,195,182 


Steam 


3 


21,750 




1,858,346 


1,858,346 


4,128,880 


Diesel and other 


52 


34,138 


2,600,300 


3,357,232 


5,957,532 


8,698,051 


Distribution and transmission 


46 




8,045,850 


10,534,638 


18,580,488 


27,040,468 
















Total _ 


117 


572,843 


87,443,950 


64,486,450 


151,930,400 


181,062,581 


Additions to electric systems 
Hydro 


16 


19,287 


16,060,300 


17,820,267 


33,880,567 


42,978,970 


Steam 


94 


197,530 


2,046,055 


10,722,543 


12,768,598 


27,286,171 


Diesel and other 


63 


25,356 


244,485 


2,042,903 


2,287,388 


4,928,487 




50 




1,698,750 


2,509,605 


4,208,355 


6,746,941 
















Total 


223 


242,173 


20,049,590 


33,095,318 


53,144,908 


81,940,569 
















Grand total 


340 


815,016 


107,493,540 


97,581,768 


205,075,308 


263,003,150 

















278 



TABLE 9. Total costs, waterworks and sewerage construction in the United States (1918-38) 

and approximate PWA aid 

[Millions of dollars] 



Year 


Total 

con- 
struc- 
tion 
activ- 
ity 


Sewerage systems 


Waterworks 


PWA aid 


New 
con- 
struc- 
tion 


Main- 
te- 
nance 


Work 
relief 


Total 


New 
con- 
struc- 
tion 


Main- 
te- 
nance 


Work 
relief 


Total 


Sewerage 

systems 


Waterworks 


New 
con- 
struc- 
tion 


Per- 

centi 


New 
con- 
struc- 
tion 


Per- 
cent 12 


1918. _ 

1919. 
1920.. 
1921. 
1922.. 
1923 . . 
1924. _ 
1925.. 
1926.. 
1927.. 
1928_. 
1929.. 
1930.. 
1931. 
1932.. 
1933.. 
1934.. 
1935.. 
1936.. 
1937.. 
1938.. 


6,523 
7,785 
8,322 
7,815 
9, 193 
10, 855 
11,989 
13, OU7 
13, 722 
13, 881 
13,638 
13,406 
11, 729 
8,618 
5,372 
4,016 
5,055 
5,636 
8,163 
8, 675 
8,790 


38 
53 
67 
78 
88 
90 
108 
133 
145 
174 
183 
127 
142 
114 
69 
34 
64 
82 
125 
110 


6 
8 
9 
9 
9 
10 
11 
12 
13 
15 
15 
16 
16 
15 
14 
13 
12 
13 
14 
15 




44 
61 
76 
87 
97 
100 
119 
145 
158 
189 
198 
143 
158 
129 
83 
64 
158 
136 
263 
211 


56 
71 
86 
100 
113 
113 
155 
145 
140 
138 
117 
126 
201 
156 
87 
47 
67 
77 
90 
100 


32 
37 
44 
45 
48 
49 
51 
50 
54 
56 
57 
58 
64 
64 
56 
50 
53 
56 
59 
60 





88 
108 
130 




































145 
161 
162 
206 
195 
194 
194 
174 
184 
265 
220 
143 
101 
139 
146 
190 
195 











































































































































17 

82 
41 
124 

86 


4 
19 
13 
41 

35 


2 
38 
57 
109 
88 
52 


6 
60 
70 
81 
80 


1 
25 
38 
69 
37 
21 


2 
37 
SO 

77 
37 





















1 Percent of new sewerage construction of column 2. 

2 Percent of new waterworks construction of column 6. 

The figures in this table are the estimated expenditures made during the year as contrasted with the final cost 
of projects upon which work was started during the year. 

Column 1 : Total construction activity includes expenditure for new construction, maintenance, and in the 
later years work-relief construction. 

Columns 2 and 6: Include only new construction (PWA included in later years). 

Columns 3 and 7: Include only maintenance. 

Columns 4 and 8: Work-relief construction includes expenditures under the following agencies: 1. Civil Works 
Administration, 2. Federal Emergency Relief Administration, 3. Works Progress Administration. 

Columns 10 and 12: Include only actual incurred expenditures of PWA, which are included in columns 
2 and 6,. 

Sources: Construction and Real Property Section, Division of Economic Research, U. S. Department of Com- 
merce and PWA. 

TABLE 10. Non-Federal sewerage and refuse projects 
[As of Mar. 1, 1939] 





Number 
of 
projects 


Estimated 
cost 


Funds sup- 
plied by 
applicant 1 


Total 


Loan 


Grant 


Total sewage disposal 
plants 


873 


3325, 357, 874 


3122, 298, 876 


3203, 058, 998 


385, 405, 015 


3117,653,983 


Total sanitary sewers 
Total storm sewers 


463 
116 


87, 614, 366 
20, 576, 184 


41,533,453 
11,022,708 


46, 080, 913 
9, 553, 476 


11, 335, 649 
2, 049, 887 


34, 745, 264 
7, 503, 589 


Total combined sewers 
Grand total sewer and 


75 
196 


32, 759, 590 
23, 786, 950 


12, 537, 254 
6, 565, 476 


20, 222, 336 
17, 221, 474 


8, 196, 295 
8, 407, 156 


12, 026, 041 
8 814, 318 


Grand total garbage and 
rubbish disposal 
Grand total sewerage sys- 
tems 


41 

1,527 


10, 909, 406 
466, 308, 014 


4, 299, 333 
187, 392, 291 


6, 610, 073 
278, 915, 723 


2, 743, 750 
106, 986, 846 


3, 866, 323 
171,928,877 

















Does not include loans by PWA. 



279 



TABLE 11. PWA non-Federal waterworks -projects 

[As of Mar. 1, 1939] 
SUMMARY OF NON-FEDERAL PROJECTS FOR ALL PROGRAMS 





Num- 
ber of 
projects 


Estimated 
cost 


Funds sup- 
plied by ap- 
plicants ! 


Total 


Loan 


Grant 


Total complete water- 
works 


1,867 


3235,624,162 


3105,918,010 


3129,706,152 


339,619,321 


390,086,831 


Total reservoirs 


182 


26,663,718 


10,790,832 


15,872,886 


8,347,445 


7,525,441 


Total filtration plants 
Total water mains 


118 
252 


18,462,805 
31,094,968 


10,902,294 
15,441,772 


7,560,511 
15,653,196 


889,600 
5,755,108 


6,670,911 
9,898,088 
















Grand total water- 
works systems 


2,419 


311,845,653 


143,052,908 


168,792,745 


54,611,474 


114,181,271 



1 Does not include loans by PWA. 

TABLE 12. Summary of non-Federal hospital projects, by type 
[As of Mar. 1, 1939] 



* 


Beds 


Estimated cost 


Approximate 
average cost, 
per bed 


Num- 
ber of 
projects 


Number 


Percent 


Amount 


Percent 


Insane asylums 


49,725 
8,304 
1,870 
17,340 
21,923 
5,867 
4,147 


45.5 
7.6 

1.7 

15.9 
20.1 
5.4 

3.8 


3121,903,571 
16,795,268 
5,234,473 
67,913,739 
88,349,427 
12,376,054 
18,199,963 


36.9 
5.1 
1.6 
20.5 
26.7 
3.7 
5.5 


32,450 
2,000 
2,800 
3,900 
4,000 
2,100 
4,400 


205 
29 
12 
134 
261 
40 
81 


Schools for feeble-minded 


Epileptics 


Tuberculosis 


General 


Charitable homes for aged 


All others 


Total 


109,176 


100.0 


330,772,495 


100.0 


3,000 


762 





280 



ppli 



F 
b 



Number 
projects 



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282 



TABLE 14. Allotments to cities, counties, and States for the construction of buildings for ad- 
ministrative, legislative, judicial, and general governmental purposes 

[As of Mar. 1, 1939] 



Type of project 


Number 
of 
projects 


Loans 


Grants 


Total 
allotments 


Estimated 
cost 


City and town halls 


206 


31,456,880 


312,244,327 


313,701,207 


329,938,046 


Courthouses _ _ 


295 


4,465,269 


34,868,022 


39,333,291 


83,339,860 


Other city, county, and State administrative 
and office buildings 


130 


811,400 


14,257,265 


15,068,665 


35,106,755 


Fire stations 


101 


144,100 


2,986,151 


3,130,251 


7,205,863 


Combined fire and police station 


12 


20,400 


1,135,113 


1,155,513 


2,600,013 


Fire alarm and police radio 


22 


375,110 


853,033 


1,228,143 


2,252,840 


Police stations 


15 


257,000 


1,059,374 


1,316,374 


3,256,779 




126 


2,284,014 


8,934,862 


11,218,876 


24,478,705 


Corrective institutions 


52 


178,000 


4,330,409 


4,508,409 


12,620,559 


Social and recreational buildings 


131 


706,550 


6,974,189 


7,680,739 


16,385,272 


Auditoriums _ 


50 


908,625 


5,741,633 


6,650,258 


16,857,394 


Armories 


52 


45,000 


4,882,202 


4,927,202 


13,167,793 




83 


1,392,500 


4,790,456 


6,182,956 


11,900,826 


Archive buildings 


3 




458,195 


458,195 


1,130,335 


Abbatoirs 


4 




40,748 


40,748 


114,768 


Markets 


21 


1,021,300 


3,148,998 


4,170,298 


8,283,955 


Farm buildings 


7 




1,011,056 


1,011,056 


2,925,021 




182 


3,844,718 


16,661,858 


20,506,576 


41,997,461 














Total buildings 


1,492 


17,910,866 


124,377,891 


142,288,757 


313,562,245 














Outdoor recreational facilities: 
Park developments 


61 


6,755,700 


3,983,680 


10,739,380 


15,899,778 




65 


130,500 


1,956,239 


2,086,739 


4,556 997 


Recreational centers 


10 


1,111,500 


1,329,378 


2,440,878 


3,156,460 














Grand total _ 


1,628 


25,908,566 


131,647,188 


157,555,754 


337,175,480 















NOTE. Park developments also include sports facilities such as tennis courts and athletic fields. Recreational 
centers include recreation piers, golf courses, yacht harbors, and other sports facilities. In addition to 126 allot- 
ments for jails, there are 95 jails included in city halls and courthouses. 

TABLE 15. Summary of PWA housing projects 1 



Project 


Num- 
ber of 
living 
units 


Type of accommodations 


PWA al- 
lotment 


Atlanta, Ga., Techwood Homes . 


604 


Apartments and group houses 


32, 933, 500 


Atlanta, Ga., University Homes 


675 


Group houses and flats 


2 592,000 


Atlantic Citv, N. J Stanley S. Holmes Village 


277 


do 


1 550 000 


Birmingham, Ala., Smithfield Court 


544 


Group houses 


2, 500 000 


Boston, Mass., Old Harbor Village. 


1,016 


Apartments and group houses . 


6, 636, 000 


Buffalo, N. Y., Kenfield 


658 


Apartments, group houses, and flats 


4 755 000 




294 




2 500 000 


Camden, N. J., Westfield Acres 


515 


do 


3, 116 160 


Charleston, S. C., Meeting Street, Manor, and 


212 


Group houses __ .. __ __ 


1, 305, 000 


Cooper River Court. 
Chicago 111., Jane Addams Houses 


1 027 




7 041 759 


Chicago, 111., Julia C. Lathrop Homes 
Chicago, 111., Trumbull Park Homes 


925 
462 


Apartments, group houses and flats 
do 


5', 862, 000 
3,038,000 




1 039 




7 086,000 


Cleveland, Ohio, Cedar-Central Apartments 


650 


do 


3,384,000 


Cleveland, Ohio, Outhwaite Homes 


579 


Apartments, group houses and flats 


3,564,000 


Cleveland, Ohio, Lakeview Terrace _ _ 


620 


Apartments and group houses _ _ 


3,800,000 


Columbia, S. C., University Terrace 


122 


Apartments, group houses and flats 


706,000 


Dallas Tex., Cedar Springs Place 


181 


do 


1,020,000 


Detroit, Mich., Brewster _ 


701 


do 


5,200,000 


Detroit, Mich., Parkside 


775 


do 


4,500,000 


Enid Okla Cherokee Terrace 


80 




557 100 


Evansville, Ind., Lincoln Gardens 


191 


Group houses and flats 


1,000,000 


Indianapolis, Ind., Lockefield Garden Apartments. 


748 


Apartments and group houses _ _ 


3,207,000 


Jacksonville, Fla., Durkeeville _ 


215 


Group houses. 


948,000 


Lackawanna, N. Y., Baker Homes 


271 


Group houses and flats 


1,610,000 




286 




1 704 000 


Louisville, Ky., La Salle Place 


210 


do 


1,350,000 


Louisville, Ky., College Court- . _ _ _ _ _ _ 


125 


Group houses and flats.. 


759,000 


Memphis. Tenn., Dixie Homes 


633 


...do... 


3.400.000 



As of Nov. 1, 1937, date on which these projects were transferred to the U. S. Housing Authority. 



283 



TABLE 15. Summary of PWA housing projects Continued 



Proj ect 


Num- 
ber of 
living 
units 


Type of accommodations 


PWA al- 

lotments 


Memphis, Term., Lauderdale Courts __ 


449 


Apartments and group houses 


33 128 000 


Miami, Fla., Liberty Square... 


243 




968 880 


Milwaukee, Wis., Parklawn. 


518 




2 600 000 


Minneapolis, Minn., Sumner Field Homes 


464 




3 632 000 


Montgomery, Ala., Riverside Heights. . . .. 


100 


Group houses 


411 000 


Montgomery, Ala., William B. Patterson Courts 


156 


do 


506 000 


Nashville, Tenn., Cheatham Place 


314 


do ... 


2 000 000 


Nashville, Tenn., Andrew Jackson Courts 


398 




1 890 000 


New York, N. Y., Williamsburg Houses... 


1,622 


Apartments 


13 4^9 000 


New York, N. Y., Harlem River Houses 


574 


do 


4 219 000 


Oklahoma City, Okla., Will Rogers Courts 


354 


Group houses 


2 000 000 


Omaha, Nebr., Logan Fontenelle Homes 


284 


Group houses and fiats. 


1,955 000 


Philadelphia, Pa., Hill Creek 


258 


do 


2 110 000 


Caguas, Puerto Rico, W. I., Caserio La Granja _ 


78 


Group houses 


275 000 


San Juan, Puerto Rico, W. I., Caserio Mira- 


131 


do 


500 000 


palmeras. 
Schenectady, N. Y., Schonowee Village. 


219 


Apartments 


1 435 000 


Stamford, Conn., Fairfield Court 


146 




884 000 


Toledo, Ohio, Brand Whitlock Homes . . 


264 


Apartments, group houses, and flats 


2 000 000 


Virgin Islands, W. I.: 
Bassin Triangle 


30 


1 




Marley Homes. . 


38 


fGroup houses 


250 000 


H. H. Berg Homes.. 


58 






Washington, D. C., Langston 


274 




1 842 000 


Wayne, Pa., Highland Homes . . _ _ 


50 


Group houses and flats 


' 344' 000 











TABLE 16.- Status of non-Federal projects 







Total 






Completed 


Undc 


r construction 


Region and State 


Num- 
ber of 
proj- 
ects 


Allotments 


Estimated cost 


Num- 
ber of 
proj- 
ects 


Estimated cost 


Num- 
berpf 
proj- 
ects 


Estimated cost 


Total 


16,645 


22,135,154,653 


33,980,812,951 


10,471 


31,880,230,172 


6,148 


32,093,764,483 


Region No. 1 


3,090 


684,935,472 


1,371,351,472 


2,016 


642,621,037 


1,073 


728,210,435 


Connecticut _ 
Delaware 


261 

43 


27,878,569 
3,019,207 


69,637,149 
8,011,760 


210 

27 


30,462,583 
5,221,539 


51 
16 


39,174,566 
2,790,221 


Maine 


84 


4,470,710 


10,443,223 


43 


3,685,160 


41 


6 758 063 


Maryland 


142 


31,799,693 


69,977,758 


90 


21,648,173 


52 


48,329,585 


Massachusetts .. 
New Hampshire- 
New Jersey 
New York 


392 
112 
319 
762 


49,660,455 
6,881,271 
58,453,379 
358,609,593 


128,381,343 
16,016,722 
102,828,767 
613,842,253 


262 
75 
201 
492 


73,060,266 
7,761,532 
51,376,796 
306,059,899 


130 
37 
118 
269 


55,321,077 
8,255,190 
51,451,971 
307,262 354 


Pennsylvania 
Rhode Island... 
Vermont 


784 
87 
104 


124,831,854 
15,866,352 
3,464,389 


307,465,369 
36,503,018 
8,244,110 


476 
65 

75 


118,030,426 
20,751,390 
4,563,273 


308 
22 
29 


189,434,943 
15,751,628 
3,680,837 


Region No 2 


3,419 


445,187,725 


854,959,732 


2,013 


359,514,143 


1,402 


493,793,219 


Illinois 


808 


180,768,357 


316,963,136 


603 


133,102,627 


205 


183,860,") 09 




477 


44,426,198 


94,628,104 


293 


44,966,322 


184 


49,661 782 


Michigan 


461 


62,741,550 


111,632,511 


220 


30,399,238 


240 


81,045,773 


Ohio 


1,061 


102,700,866 


209,677,428 


564 


95,153,886 


494 


113,058,672 


West Virginia... 
Wisconsin 


150 
462 


19,522,920 
35,027,834 


38,238,987 
83,819,566 


97 
236 


16,537,159 
39,354,911 


53 
226 


21,701,828 
44,464,655 


















Region No. 3 


2,832 


310,576,071 


505,088,728 


1,694 


195,694,393 


1,134 


308,721,608 


Alabama 


330 


32,884,308 


47,434,242 


190 


21,168,107 


140 


26,266,135 


Florida 


232 


32,005,425 


40,158,502 


149 


26,261,580 


83 


13,896,922 


Georgia 


518 


19,946,569 


39,260,252 


279 


18,851,032 


238 


20,376,493 


Kentucky 


298 


25,590.476 


50,759,091 


170 


20,419,212 


127 


30,011,879 


Mississippi... 
North Carolina .. 
South Carolina . 
Tennessee 


231 
352 
243 
278 


34,083,642 
38,309,694 
61,582,049 
35,672,250 


67,398,028 
61,782,341 
74,516,998 
66,892,598 


157 
198 
167 
178 


11,311,377 
25,358,387 
17,871,004 
27,874,752 


74 
153 
.76 
100 


56,086,651 
36,398,954 
56,645,994 
39,017,846 


Virginia 


350 


30,501,658 


56,886,676 


206 


26,578,942 


143 


30,020,734 



284 



TABLE 16. Status of non-Federal projects Continued 



Region and State 


Total 


Completed 


Under construction 


Num- 
ber of 
proj- 
ects 


Allotments 


Estimated cost 


Num- 
ber of 
proj- 
ects 


Estimated cost 


Num- 
berof 
proj- 
ects 


Estimated cost 


Region No. 4 


2,611 


216,606,906 


406,033,966 


1,623 


218,708,816 


979 


185,744,130 


Iowa.. 


598 
564 
562 
161 
307 
193 
168 
58 


23,720,441 
34,490,251 
47,079,695 
19,575,442 
73,242,300 
6,359,158 
7,490,007 
4,649,612 


53,599,143 
87,043,362 
120,139,894 
26,610,343 
85,528,633 
12,996,931 
12,153,802 
7,961,858 


384 
300 
317 
114 
215 
130 
130 
33 


28,381,287 
51,586,259 
63,505,120 
15,732,842 
37,578,915 
8,154,133 
10,041,867 
3,728,393 


213 
264 
240 
45 
91 
63 
38 
25 


25,120,856 
35,457,103 
55,774,390 
10,653,865 
47,549,718 
4,842,798 
2,111,935 
4,233,465 


Minnesota 


Missouri 


Montana 


Nebraska 


North Dakota. ._ 
South Dakota 


Region No. 5 


2,430 


249,186,842 


405,094,298 


1,593 


206,055,086 


832 


197,452,395 


Arkansas 


236 
206 
450 
228 
96 
302 
912 


23,076,240 
20,614,168 
26,644,727 
23,744,133 
7,548,022 
38,557,609 
109,001,943 


29,909,955 
46,132,802 
53,632,181 
51,079,534 
11,341,211 
51,896,062 
161,102,553 


168 
122 
333 
87 
69 
213 
601 


21,030,184 
31,723,198 
30,538,885 
11,533,802 
6,901,036 
21,888,778 
82,439,203 


68 
84 
117 
141 

27 
88 
307 


8,879,771 
14,409,604 
23,093,296 
39,545,732 
4,440,175 
29,507,284 
77,576,533 


Colorado 


Kansas 


Louisiana 


New Mexico 
Oklahoma ... 


Texas. 


Region No. 6 


1,153 


125,884,222 


261,016,616 


761 


173,307,108 


392 


87,709,508 


Arizona 


122 
807 
42 
182 


11,882,388 
103,036,566 
1,885,544 
9,079,724 


17,717,206 
222,670,026 
3,535,909 
17,093,475 


78 
527 
33 
123 


9,936,670 
149,856,404 
2,647,415 
10,866,619 


44 
280 
9 
59 


7,780,536 
72,813,622 
888,494 
6,226,856 


California 


Nevada... 


Ut^h 


Region No. 7 


977 


58,593,490 


124,033,329 


714 


67,388,097 


262 


55,916,232 


Idaho 


157 
291 
496 

33 

14 

57 
59 

3 


6,070,034 
16,688,026 
33,854,571 
1,980,859 


11,106,580 
30,062,208 
80,100,226 
2,764,315 


95 
170 
427 
22 


5,416,858 
18,577,555 
41,919,045 
1,474,639 


61 
121 
69 
11 


4,960,722 
11,484,653 
38,181,181 
1,289,676 




Washington 
Alaska 


District of Colum- 
bia and Terri- 
tories : 
District of Co- 
lumbia 


24,654,000 
4,840,423 
14,547,290 
142,212 


24,811,500 
11,232,433 
16,987,221 
203,656 


5 
33 
17 
2 


6,661,500 
6,115,211 
4,028,398 
136,383 


9 
24 
40 


18,150,000 
5,117,222 
12,882,461 
67,273 


Hawaii 


Puerto Rico 
Virgin Islands... 



TABLE 17. Status summary of non-Federal projects for all programs 

[As of Mar. 1, 1939] 
ALL APPLICATIONS FILED TO DATE 1 



Status 


Num- 
ber of 
projects 


Funds requested recommended or allotted 


Estimated cost 


Total 


Loan 


Grant 


Total filed 


37, 271 


38, 856, 147, 754 


34, 788, 871, 383 


34, 067, 276, 371 


312, 212, 733, 502 




21,919 


3, 167, 138, 998 


888,391,310 


2, 278, 747, 688 


5, 736, 675, 369 


Allotted 


16, 645 
5,274 


2,135,154,653 
1,031,984,345 


626, 134, 786 
262, 256, 524 


1, 509, 019, 867 
769, 727, 821 


3,980,812,951 
1, 755, 862, 418 


Pending 


In central office 
In regional office 

Inactive 




5,272 
2 


1,031,705,745 
278,600 


262, 105, 274 
151,250 


769, 600, 471 
127, 350 


1, 755, 579, 418 
283, 000 


15,352 


5, 689, 008, 756 


3, 900, 480, 073 


1, 788, 528, 683 


6,476,058,133 





For convenience, this summary also appears on reverse side. 



285 



TABLE 17. Status summary of non-Federal projects for all programs Continued 
STATUS OF ALLOTTED PROJECTS, N. I. R. A. PROGRAM 



Number 
of 
projects 

3,702 


Percent 
of total 


Allotments 


Estimated cost 


Percent 
of 

estimated 
cost 


Total 


Loan 


Grant 


100.00 


3682, 421, 825 


3417, 866, 743 


3264,555,082 


31, 108, 109, 652 


100.00 


1 
2 
2 
26 
3,671 


.-03 
.05 
.05 

.70 
99.17 


650, 000 
411,000 
277, 000 
170,372,056 
510,711,769 


475, 000 

207,000 
121, 482, 866 
295, 701, 877 


175,000 
411,000 
70,000 
48, 889, 190 
215, 009, 892 


729, 000 
1, 453, 200 
276, 273 
202, 186, 105 
903, 465, 074 


.06 

.13 
.02 

18.25 

81.54 

~/T\ 


5 


.13 


1,338,000 


682, 000 


656, 000 


2, 458, 473 



E.R.A. 1935 AND E.R.A. 1935 SUPPLEMENTAL PROGRAMS 



3,804 


100.00 


3444, 638, 825 


3111, 393, 185 


3333, 245, 640 


3792, 878, 629 


100 00 

T06 
23.93 
76.01 


1 
30 
3,773 


.03 

.79 
99.18 


520, 000 
136, 905, 667 
307, 213, 158 


286,000 
56, 123, 000 
54, 984, 185 


234, 000 
80, 782, 667 
252, 228, 973 


520, 000 
189, 706, 423 
602, 652, 206 


1 


.03 


520,000 


286, 000 


234,000 


520, 000 


.06 



STATUS OF ALLOTTED PROJECTS, F. D. A. 1936 PROGRAM 











Allotments 






Per- 




Num- 


Per- 










cent 


Status 2 


ber of 
proj- 


cent 

of 








Estimated cost 


of 
esti- 




ects 


total 


Total 


Loan 


Grant 




mated 
















cost 


Total 


1,768 


100.00 


3179, 642, 771 


320, 350, 525 


3159, 292, 246 


3393, 323, 050 


100.00 


















Acceptance approved or 
















agreement executed by 
PWA 


1 


.06 


163, 636 


90,000 


73, 636 


163, 636 


04 


Under construction 


65 


3.68 


50, 833, 477 


7,015,700 


43, 817, 777 


121, 986, 199 


31.01 


Completed 


1,702 


96.26 


128, 645, 658 


13,244,825 


115,400,833 


271,173,215 


68 95 


















Total not started 


1 


.06 


163, 636 


90,000 


73, 636 


163, 636 


.04 



















P. W. A. E. 1937 PROGRAM 



Total 


1,191 


100.00 


3144, 695, 914 


332, 948, 500 


3111,747,414 


3261, 278, 132 


100.00 


















Acceptance approved or 
agreement executed by 
PWA 


2 


.17 


367, 500 


103,000 


264,500 


587, 500 


22 


Under construction. _ 


254 


21.33 


101, 808, 878 


30,314,500 


79, 494, 378 


169, 354, 859 


64.82 




935 


78.50 


42,519,536 


2,531,000 


39, 988, 536 


91, 335, 773 


34 96 


















Total not started 


2 


.17 


367, 500 


103,000 


264, 500 


587, 500 


.22 



















2 Each status group represents the present standing of projects. To arrive at the total number of projects 
upon which, for example, bids have been advertised, it is necessary to add figures in that status group plus those 
in succeeding status groups, i. e., "bids advertised," "contract awarded," "under construction," and "com- 
pleted." To determine the number of projects upon which, for example, bids have not been advertised, it is 
necessary to add the figures for all status groups preceding "bids advertised." 



286 



TABLE 17. Status summary of non-Federal projects for all programs Continued 
P. W. A. A. 1938 PROGRAM 



Total 


6,180 


100.00 


3683, 755, 318 


343, 575, 833 


3640, 179, 485 


31, 425, 223, 488 


100.00 


Agreement or offer ac- 
cepted by applicant 
Acceptance approved or 
agreement executed by 
PWA 


1 

5 
2 
9 
5,773 
390 


.02 

.08 
.03 
.14 
93.42 
6.31 


545,000 

477, 303 

25, 977 
920, 226 
676, 364, 533 
5, 422, 279 


300,000 

151,000 

128, 000 
42, 799, 433 
197,400 


245,000 

326, 303 

25, 977 
792, 226 
633, 565, 100 
5, 224, 879 


545, 000 

725, 123 
57, 727 
1, 760, 837 
1, 410, 530, 897 
11,603,904 


.04 

.05 
.01 
.12 

98.97 
.81 


Bids advertized 


Contracts awarded 


Under construction. _ _ 


Completed _ _. 


Total not started _ _ 


17 


.27 


1, 968, 506 


579, 000 


1, 389, 506 


3, 088, 687 


.22 





NOTE. Projects for railroad construction and low cost housing excluded; limited dividend housing projects 
ncluded. 

TABLE 18. Non-Federal projects 1 portion of all programs completed 
[As of Mar. 1, 1939] 



Program 


Total estimated 
cost 


Percent 
of com- 
pletion 


Portion of program completed 


Total cost of 
work completed 


Cost of projects 
completed 


Reported project 
costs 2 on un- 
completed proj- 
ects 


NIRA 


31, 108, 109, 652 

792, 878, 629 
393, 323, 050 
261, 278, 132 
1, 425, 223, 488 


93.1 

93.5 
90.6 
66.0 
13.2 


31,031,650,000 

741, 355, 000 
356, 250, 000 
172, 350, 000 
187, 850, 000 


3903, 465, 074 

602, 652, 206 
271, 173, 215 
91, 335, 773 
11,603,904 


3128, 184, 926 

138, 702, 794 
85, 076, 785 
81, 014, 227 
176, 246, 096 


ERA 1935 and ERA 1935 
supplemental 


FDA 1936 


PWAE 1937 


PWAA 1938 


Total 


3,980,812,951 


62.5 


2, 489, 455, 000 


1, 880, 230, 172 


609, 224, 828 



1 Projects for railroad construction and low-cost housing excluded, limited dividend housing projects included. 

2 Reported project costs represent the cost of material in place ('including the cost of labor performed) and 
miscellaneous costs for that portion of the work completed. 



287 



TABLE 19. Summary of non-Federal projects, by types 
[As of Mar. 1, 1<>39] 


s 

n! 

6 


i 

ON 
O 

So. 




OLOONI-- 

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348, 046, 941 


t^-OONOOO"^ t^OOi t^cOCMOOOCMLOVO 
ooONCMLoOcocMOON'*T<ooi> coroO^O 


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S^sSSssS^S 


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ao 




1 1 

= J 


CM 

s 
i 


1 


HIS 




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2iSi8S3s3Sg31li 


S 




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OOONl-s-CM 
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ON 


s?Si331 


S3SsisS 


s 


gS3ISSS5S^ 




S 


000- LO 


CO R - 





CTs ^O ro CN 


1 


CM 

a 


o 

LO 

g 


ISSS 


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8SSs33S5!3i3$sKs 


s 


siSSlS^g 


Slics 


$ 


SISc3SSSISR3sisS 


i 


ooo i ^r^- < -oi x -. OOM^O 


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s 


OCCONOONOt OOLOt^-LOONNO^-^-NO^fLO 


^ 


Sis -*z- 


Funds supplied by 
applicants l 


a 

NO 

S 

si 


CN 




LO ' OO O 

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No"o"vo"lC 


s 


i-HNOCOOC^NOOOCM^fCMOCOTfLOOCr^l-^ 


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1 


t^CM^H-^CMNOCOlOi: 


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8 


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Estimated cost 


-*< 

OO 


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1 




ro c^> VC 


S 


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-Ht^NOOOONLOLONOC 
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1 
















II II 


i 1 












1 


: ! i 






1 i 


'' '' i 






i 






.11 1 


; '; 




i i i 




i 1 sj i 


i 


Educational buildings 
Secondary schools ___ 
Colleges and universities 
Other educational buildings 
Public libraries 
Municipal auditoriums and armories- 
Courthouses and city halls . 
Hospitals and institutions 
Penal institutions 
Social, recreational buildings __ 






1 




S i i ! i 


1 


"n 

"n 

c 

C 

5 
C 


Streets and highways 


Roads and highways 
Streets 

Grade crossing elimination 
Miscellaneous.. . 


Sewers, waterworks, power, other faci 

Sewer systems 
Sewage disposal plants 
Sanitary sewers 
Storm sewers 
Combined sewers 
Sewer and water. _ . 
Water systems 
Water mains 


Filtration plants 
Reservoirs 

Complete waterworks. 
Garbage and rubbish disposal ... 
Gas plants. ___- -- 
Electric power excluding water pc 
Electric distribution system- 
Power construction 
Miscellaneous- _ 



288 



io*O 
vO 10 

CN-* 


ON 


ro 


ON 
-<t 


o\^!2^Svo 


ON 


1ISS 


g 


1 IVQON 


SaS 


1 Does note include loans by PWA. 
3 Figures as of Nov. 1, 1937, the date on which these projects were transferred to the U. S. Housing Authority. 


"i-."cr 

LOON 

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S 


1 


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11 


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Office and administrative 

Warehouses, laboratories, shops, etc 
Hnnsine (limited dividend 1 ) 2 


Miscellaneous.. _ 


Flood control, water power and reclamation 
Dams and canals 


J 










" 














Aviation. 
Recreational 
Miscellaneous 
Railroads .. 










Dams and canals 

Channel rectification, levees, e 
Other navigation aids.. 

Engineering structures __ . 


Bridges and viaducts - 
Wharves, piers, and docks 
Subways and tunnels. 
Other 


Channel rectification, levee 


Water power development . 
Soil erosion 

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Miscellaneous. 


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289 



TABLE 20. Summary of Federal projects, by types 
[As of Feb. 28, 1939] 





Total 


NIRA 


PWAA 


Mum- 
ber of 
proj ects 


Allotment 


Num- 
ber of 
projects 


Allotment 


Num- 
ber of 
projects 


Allotment 


Grand total all types 
Streets and highways 


17,780 
9,928 


31,767,532,236 


15,940 


?1, 567,533 ,029 


1,840 


$199,999,207 


466,301,953 


9,907 


465,758,155 


21 


543,798 


Roads and highways. _ 


9,824 
8 
96 


461,736,602 
272,448 
4,292,903 


9,811 

8 
88 


461,471,254 
272,448 
4,014,453 


13 


265,348 


Streets 


Miscellaneous 


8 
299~ 


278,450 
17,835,624 


Utilities 


768 


33,539,174 


469 


15,703,550 


Sewer systems . 


98 
21 
72 
5 
29 
163 
38 
1 
21 
103 
20 
1 

92 

39 
53 
365 


3,315,400 
704,263 
2,345,755 
265,382 
641,705 
3,478,532 
395,684 
339,504 
576,153 
2,167,191 
136,133 
48,990 

15,602,952 

11,151,423 
4,451,529 
10,315,462 


69 
19 
46 
4 
26 
112 
29 
1 
12 
70 
14 

56 

22 
34 
191 


2,977,600 
678,702 
2,042,016 
256,882 
588,705 
2,324,171 
215,584 
339,504 
150,876 
1,618,207 
95,533 
48,990 

3,014,052 

210,423 
2,803,629 
6,654,499 


29 
2 
26 
1 
3 
51 
9 


337,800 
25,561 
303,739 
8,500 
53 ,000 
1,154,361 
180,100 


Sewage disposal plants 


San'tary sewers 


Storm sewers. 


Sewer and water . 


Water systems 


Water mains 


Filtration plants 


Reservoirs . 


9 
33 
6 


425,277 
548,984 
40,600 


Complete waterworks. . _ 


Garbage and rubbish disposal. 
Gas plants 


Electric power excluding 
water power 


36 

17 
19 

174 


12,588,900 

10,941,000 
1,647,900 
3,660,963 


Electric distribution sys- 
tems 


Power construction 


Miscellaneous 


Buildings _ . . 


3,167 


303,581,146 


2,491 


197,596,384 


676 


105,984,762 


Educational buildings . 


206 
149 
36 

21 
1 
30 
406 
151 
75 
28 
551 
211 

678 
74 
756 


20,597,448 
8,025,976 
5,785,401 

6,786,071 
148,000 
1,312,012 
43,607,814 
36,887,384 
14,914,079 
1,783,740 
74,779,876 
39,826,458 

36,846,985 

8,882,773 
23,994,577 


169 
129 

28 

12 
1 
24 
406 
99 
34 
22 
382 
182 

425 
74 
673 


13,553,074 
6,469,904 
2,840,401 

4,242,769 
148,000 
1,045,320 
43,607,814 


37 
20 
8 

9 


7,044,374 
1,556,072 
2,945,000 

2,543,302 


Secondary schools 


Colleges and universities 
Other educational institu- 
tions 


Auditoriums and armories 
Courthouses and city halls 
Post offices 


6 


266,692 


Hospitals and institutions 
Penal institutions- 


15,882,873 
1,030,479 
1,363,104 
35,677,165 
38,973,773 

17,092,435 

8,882,773 
20,339,574 


52 
41 
6 
169 
29 

253 


21,004,511 
13,883,600 
420,636 
39,102,711 

852,685 

19,754,550 


Social, recre tional buildings. _ 
Residential 


Office and administrative 
Warehouses, laboratories, 
shops . 


Housing projects 


Miscellaneous . _ 


83 


3,655,003 


Flood control, water power, 
reclamation. 


339 


262,525,470 


281 


228,306,870 


58 


34,218,600 


Dams and canals 


149 

18 
18 
10 
93 
51 


74,015,196 

3,276,100 
9,447,800 
81,670,700 
14,467,647 
79,648,027 


108 

11 
14 

7 
93 
48 


50,121,596 

276,100 
8,747,800 
77,170,700 
14,467,647 
77,523,027 

253,520,844 


41 

7 
4 

3 


23,893,600 

3,000,000 
700,000 
4,500,000 


Channel rectification, levees, 
etc 


Storage reservoirs 


Water power development 
Soil erosion 


Miscellaneous 


3 


2,125,000 


Water navigation aids 


696 


257,038,352 


547 


149 


3,517,508 


Dams and canals 


29 

164 

35 
212 
256 
259 
60 
99 
100 


92,544,836 

101,754,518 
30,958,485 
3,929,489 
27,851,024 
270,637,973 
238,797,527 
26,458,450 
5,381,996 


28 

136 
35 
141 
207 
206 
59 
65 
82 


91,944,836 

100,590,620 
30,958,485 
2,784,539 
27,242,364 
265,910,090 
238,697,527 
24,738,967 
2,473,596 


1 

28 


600,000 
1,163,898 


Channel rectification, levees, 
etc 


Locks. 


Lighthouses __ 


71 
49 

53 

34 
18 


1,144,950 
608,660 
4,727,883 
100,000 
1,719,483 
2,908,400 


Other navigation aids 


Vessels 


Naval 


Coast guard 


Nonmilitary 



290 



TABLE 20. Summary of Federal projects, by types Continued 
[As of Feb. 28, 1939] 





Total 


NIRA 


PWAA 


Num- 
ber of 
projects 


Allotment 


Num- 
ber of 
projects 


Allotment 


Num- 
ber of 
projects 


Allotment 


Engineering structures 


181 


223,021,793 


111 


317,005,485 


70 


$6,016,308 


Bridges and viaducts. _ . 


9 
62 
110 


1,351,800 
9,094,439 

12,575,554 


7 
44 
60 


1,318,960 
5,032,399 
10,654,126 


2 
18 
50 


32,840 
4062,040, 
1,921,428 


Wharves, piers, docks 


Other 


Aviation 


342 


43,523,468 


2-94 


28,321,523 48 


15,201,945 


Aircraft 


48 
193 
101 

83 
2,017 


19,185,994 
21,101,415 
3,236,059 

2,666,566 
104,696,341 


47 
147 
100 


16,185,994 
8,934,470 
3,201,059 


1 
46 


3,000,000 
12,166,945 
35,000 


Improvement to landing fields- 
Other aids 


Recreational 


76 
1,558 


2,595,221 
92,814,907 


7 
459 


71,345 
11,881,434 


Miscellaneous 


Surveying and mapping 


610 

285 
50 
81 
193 
146 
652 


18,141,738 

22,895,327 
7,108,167 
4,129,547 
2,211,479 
5,734,141 
44,475,942 


487 

227 
50 
79 
101 
146 
468 


15,647,738 

22,141,638 
7,108,167 
3,354,547 
883,013 
5,734,141 
37,945,663 


123 
58 


2,494,000 
753,689 


Miscellaneous improvements 
to Federal land 


Ordnance 


Machine tools for navy yards- 
Game and fish protection 
Other pest and disease control- 
Other 


2 
92 


775,000 
1,328,466 


184 


6,530,279 





TABLE 21. -Non-Federal projects, Federal projects, and Federal low-cost housing projects, 

all programs 
[Table showing estimated cost and allotments, distributed by type of project, as of March 1, 1939] 





Number 


Total estimated 




Allotment 






projects 


cost 


Total 


Loan 


Grant l 


Educational buildings 


7,488 


$1,181,715,192 


$593,646,284 


$93,789,369 


$499 856 915 


Hospitals and institutions for med- 


822 


336,490,610 


173,557,303 


21,511,796 


152 045 507 


Public buildings 


4,287 


558,614,635 


387,669,726 


17,535,756 


370,133,970 


Sewer systems 


1,850 


494,052,069 


300,094,302 


115,394,002 


184 700 300 


Water systems 


2,582 


315,324,185 


172,271,277 


54,611,474 


117,659,803 


Electric power, excluding water 
power __ 


375 


112,195,891 


76,642,536 


23,056,200 


53,586,336 


Streets and highways 


11,428 


920,782,657 


665,661,463 


17,371,775 


648,289,688 


Engineering structures v 


654 


486,289,436 


293,740,088 


136 009 957 


157 730 131 


Flood control, water power and 
reclamation 


470 


457,404,679 


441,974,913 


105,964,711 


336,010,202 


Limited dividend housing 2 _ _ 


7 


11,760,399 


10,403,391 


10,403,391 




Federal low-cost housing 2 


51 


136,669,759 


136,669,759 




136,669,759 


Railroads 


32 


200,974,500 


200,974,500 


200,974,500 




Vessels 


259 


270,637,973 


270,637,973 




270,637,973 


All others 


4,203 


603,077,461 


516,387,633 


30,486,355 


485 901 278 














Total 


34,508 


6,085,989,446 


4,240,331,148 


827,109,286' 


3 413 221 862 















1 Includes allotments to Federal agencies. 

2 Figures as of Nov. 1, 1937, the date on which these projects were transferred to the U. S. Housing Authority. 

Allotments made available under authority of the Fourth Deficiency Act, fiscal year 1933 (Public, No. 77, 73d 
Cong.), the Emergency Appropriation Act, fiscal year 1935 (Public, No. 412, 73d Cong.), the Emergency Relief 
Appropriation Act of 1935 (Public Res. No. 11, 74th Cong.), the First Deficiency Appropriation Act, fiscal year 
1936, the Public Works Administration Extension Act of 1937, and the Public Works Administration Appro- 
priation Act of 1938. 



291 



Index 



Page 

Alabama: Mobile Tunnel 187 

Alabama Power Co 57-59, 123 

Alabama, University of 135 

Alburg, Vt__ 129-130 

Alcatraz Penitentiary 200 

All-American Canal. _ 110 

Annapolis, Md 164-165 

Appleton, Wis 163 

Arkansas: Mental hospitals 147 

Arkansas, University of 152 

Armories 202-203 

Arp,Tex 177 

Asheville, N. C 201 

Astoria, Oreg 184 

Atlanta : 

Federal Penitentiary 200 

Police headquarters 199 

Regional office. (See footnote.) _ _ 45 

Techwood Homes 207-208, 211, 216 

Atlanta Penitentiary 200 

Atlantic City 212 

Auburn (N. Y.) prison 200 

Auditoriums 200-201, 203, 238-241 

Aviation . 108,191-192,254 

B 
Barre, Vt 201 

Barton County, Mo __ 200 

Bidding 78-79, 82, 88-90 

Big Sandy, Tex 177 

Birmingham, Ala ^__ . 212,216 

Bloomdale, Ohio 174 

Bond sales 63,67-68,229 

Bonneville Dam__ .115-119,190 

Boston: 

General Hospital 146 

Housing 216 

Municipal credit 6 

Police radio 198 

Boulder Dam . 110-112 

Bound Brook, N. J. (See footnote.) _ 156 

Bridgeport, Tex 177 

Brooklyn, N. Y_ __ 134,214 

Brownsville, Tex __ .231-234 

Budget Bureau 98 



Buffalo: Page 

Convention Hall 201 

Housing 212 

Sewage plant 161 

Sewer authority 54 

Building specifications 77-78 

Buildings, public 8, 30 

Bureau of Labor Statistics 18-20, 

22,23,26-28,30,31,215 
Business cycles. . _ 11, 70, 95, 221-22 



California : 

Alameda-Contra Costra Tunnel__ 187 

All-American Canal 110 

Legislation 55, 247 

Los Angeles schools 244-248 

Ca-mden, N. J 188 

Canadian, Tex 177 

Cape May, N. J 205 

Capital goods 9 

Carmody, John M II 

Change orders 80 

Charleston, S. C . 212,216 

Charleston, W.Va.. 201 

Charlotte, N. C 198 

Chicago: 

Housing 210 

Municipal credit 6 

Regional office. (See footnote.) _ _ 45 

Sewerage system . 162, 234-238 

Subway 79,187 

Water supply 172, 173-174 

Cincinnati: 

Housing 211 

Municipal credit 6 

Civil Aeronautics Authority 191 

Civil Works Administration 39, 220 

Cleveland 211,213,216 

Colleges. (See Schools.) 
Colorado: 

Denver water supply 248-252 

Federal prison 200 

Legislation 52 

Columbia, S. C 203 

Columbus, Ga 133 



2 93 



Connecticut: Page 

Federal prison 200 

Mental hospitals 147, 148 

Construction: 

Early Federal 95-97 

PWA standards 81-82, 139, 227 

United States, total 2, (chart) 3 

Water supply 172 

Consumers goods 9, 20-23 

Contracts : 

Bidding 78-79, 82, 88-90 

Specifications 77-78 

Contractors 19, 90 

Corpus Christi, Tex 190 

Costigan, Sen. Edward P 4 

Courthouses . 25-26, 196-197 

Credit 10, 11,37,62-63,69 

Criteria : 

For employment 39-40 

For projects 36, 62-63, 73-82 

Culpeper, Va 121 

Cutting, Sen. Bronson 4 

D 
Danville, Va 121 

Delaware: 

Legislation 52 

Water supply 173 

Delaware, Ohio -197 

Denison, Tex 177 

Denver 172,248-252 

DePere, Wis ,__ 163 

Des Moines _ 160,198 

Detroit: Brewster housing project. _ 90 
District of Columbia __ 164 



Education. (See Schools.) 127-139 

Electric power: 

Bonneville Dam 116-119 

Boulder Dam 112 

Cascade Locks, Wash 116 

Culpeper, Va 121 

Danville, Va ... 121 

Employment 30 

Hoisington, Kans 121 

Legislation 41 

Litigation .56-59,123 

Lower Colorado River author- 
ity 119-122 

Nebraska 120 

PWA policy. . - - 123-124 

Steam and Diesel plants 121 

Engineering criteria 7382 



F Page 

Federal Employment Stabilization 

Board 12,36,98 

Federal Works Agency II, VI 

Financial criteria 62, 63 

Fire stations 198 

Flemington, N. J. (S^ footnote.) __ 156 
Flood reduction: 

Boulder Dam 110-112 

Lower Colorado River 119 

Mississippi River 110 

Muskingum Valley, Ohio.. 109, 258-261 

Nebraska 120 

Florida: 

Legislation 52 

Overseas Highway 70, 187, 241-244 

Tuberculosis hospital 149 

Fort Peck Dam 190 

Fort Smith, Ark 66-67 

Fort Worth. (See footnote.) 45, 203 

Fremont, Nebr 201 

G 

Gadsden, Ala 201 

Gainesville, Mo 197 

Gallatin, Albert. (See footnote.) ... 96 

Genessee Co., N. Y__ 134 

Georgia: Constitution 53 

Georgia, University of 152 

Glen Rose, Tex 177 

Gold Beach, Oreg 182-183 

Goose Creek, Tex 177 

Grade Crossings 188 

Grand Coulee Dam 26, 88, 117-119 

Grand River Dam 119 

Grandview, Tex 177 

Grants in aid 18, 37, 43, 95-97 

Green Bay, Wis 163 

Gulfport, Miss 190 

H 

Hallettsville, Tex 177 

Hammond, Ind 201 

Hearne, Tex 177 

Highland Park, N. J. (See foot- 
note.) 156 

Hoisington, Kans 121 

Holland, Mich 124 

Hoover, Herbert C 4, 12 

Hospitals 

Arkansas, University of 152 

Federal 151 

Florida __ 149 



294 



Hospitals Continued Page 

Georgia, University of 152 

General 143, 144-146 

Homes for Aged 150 

Illinois, University of 152 

Indiana, University of- 152 

Kansas, University of 152 

Louisville, University of 152 

Mansfield, Conn 148 

Maryland, University of 152 

Mental__. - 142,146-148 

Moose Lake, Minn 147 

Need for. . - 142-144,153 

New Orleans - 144-146 

New York City 152 

Rhode Island 147 

Rolla, Mo 153 

Special 153 

Syracuse University 151 

Tuberculosis. _. - 148-150 

University - 151-152 

Washington, University of 253 

Westchester Co., N. Y__ 150 

Housing 41,108-109,207-217 

Houston, Tex_ . 190 

Howard University 137 

Humble, Tex ... 177 

I 
Ickes, Harold L__ _ V-VI, 34, 57, 123, 229 

Idaho: Legislation 52 

Illinois: Army Air Field. _. 107 

Illinois, University of 152 

Indiana: Federal prison 200 

Indiana, University of 152 

Indianapolis. (See footnote.) 134, 

152, 211,213,216 

Indians 109, 136 

Industry: 

Brick and tile 24 

Cement and concrete 27, 221 

Electrical goods 24 

Material orders 19-21, 

227-231, 234-238,241,244, 
248, 252, 255, 258. 

Sand and gravel 24, 27 

Steel and iron 27 

Inspection.. . 40,79-80 

Interstate Sanitation Commission 161 

Investigation 41, 86-91 

Iowa: 

Davenport Bridge 187 

Stream pollution 160 



Irrigation: Page 

Ail-American Canal 110 

Denver County 248,251 

Nebraska __ 120 

Willacy County, Tex 233 

J 

Jails and prisons 199-200 

Joliet (111.) Prison 200 

Justice, Department of 57, 87, 91, 200 

K 

Kansas City, Mo _ 238-241 

Kansas, University of 152 

Kaukauna, Wis 163 

Kentucky: 

Federal prison 200 

Gold depository 106-107 

Legislation 56 

Key West, Fla_._ _ 241-244 

Keyport, N. J. (See footnote.) 156 

Keyser, W. Va 80 



Labor: 

Costs 82 

Direct and indirect 28, 30 

Employment 17-31, 227-229, 

231,234,238,241,244, 
248, 252, 255, 258. 

Hours 39,86 

"Kick-back"___-___. 40,87 

Misclassification J 88 

Selection 86 

Strikes 86 

Wages 9,43,84,85 

Workers 2 

LaFollette, Sen. Robert M., Jr 4 

Langley Field, Va 107-108, 191 

Laws: 

Federal 2,12,33^6,98-99 

Housing 209,217 

Litigation 56-59, 2 1 2 

Local 49-60, 65-66, 220, 247, 259 

Stream pollution 159 

Leonard, Tex / 177 

Linden, Tex 177 

Little Chute, Wis 163 

Lobbying 91 

Long Beach, Calif 244-248 

Long Beach, N. Y 64, 205 

Los Angeles: 

Schools 79,244-248 

Water supply 112, 172 



295 



Page 

Louisiana State University 146 

Louisville, Ky._ _ 212,214 

Louisville, University of 152 

Lower Colorado River Authority. 119, 122 
Lyme, Conn .130-131 



M 



Maine : Deer Isle Bridge 187 

Manville, N. J. (See footnote.) _ . 156 

Markets, public . 203-204 

Marshfield, Oreg 183 

Maryland: 

Legislation 52 

Stream pollution 164 

Maryland, University of 152 

Memorials 203 

Memphis : 

Electric distribution 122 

Housing 210,216 

Safety of workers 88 

Menasha, Wis 163 

Metuchen, N. J. (See footnote.) _. 156 

Miami . 214,216 

Middlesex, N. J. (See footnote.) __ 156 

Milwaukee 157 

Mina, Nev 174 

Minneapolis 157, 165, 202 

Minnesota : 

Asylum 147 

Legislation 55 

Roads and highways 185 

Mobile, Ala_. 190,204 

Mobridge, S. Dak ___.. 201 

Moffat Tunnel 250 

Montgomery, Ala 211, 216 

Morehead City, N. C 190 

N 
Naples, Tex 177 

National defense 107-108 

National Health Conference 142 

National Industrial Recovery Act 

(N. I. R. A.) 2, 34, 104, 209, 219 

National Reemployment Service 86, 88 

Naval vessels 30,37 

Navigation 96, 112, 119, 

189-190,231-234,235 

Nebraska: Electric power 120 

Neenah, Wis 163 

New Brunswick, N. J. (See foot- 
note.) 156 



New Jersey. Page 

Legislation 52 

Mental hospitals 147 

Stream pollution _ 155-166 

New Mexico: Legislation 52 

New Orleans 144, 203, 210 

New York City: 

Brooklyn college 134 

Housing _ 210,213-214 

Labor 43 

Lincoln Tunnel 43 

Municipal credit 63 

Regional office. (See footnote.),. 45 

Traffic problem _ _ 186, 226 

Triborough Bridge. . . 70, 186, 226-230 

Subways 187 

Water supply 172 

New York State: 

Buffalo Sewer Authority 54 

Home for aged 150 

Legislation 52, 55 

Mental hospitals 147 

Stream pollution 161 

Newport, Oreg _. . 182-183 

Niagara River 161 

North Carolina: Mental hospitals __ 147 

O 

Oakland, Calif 25-26, 196 

Ohio: 

Flood reduction _ 109,258-261 

Legislation 52 

Water supply 173 

Oklahoma: Electric power 119 

Oklahoma City.. .200-201 

Olean, N. Y__' 169 

Omaha. (See footnote.) 45 

Oregon : 

Coastal highway 182-184 

State Capitol 197 

Organization of PWA 34-35,44-46 

Oshkosh, Wis__. 163 



Pasadena, Tex 177 

Pecos, Tex 177 

Pennsylvania: 

Express highway 188 

Legislation 55 

Pennsylvania Railroad 189 

Performance bonds 79 

Personnel . 33-35, 44-45 

Perth Amboy, N. J. (Sff footnote.) .. 156 



296 



Page 

Philadelphia, Pa 132, 188,210,216 

Pittsburg, Tex 177 

Plainfield, N. J. (Sef footnote.) __ 156 

Police stations 196-200 

Port Lavaca, Tex 204 

Portland. (See footnote.) 45 

Post offices 106 

Providence, R. I __ ___ 191 

Public Health (See also Hospitals). 

Indians 109 

Hospitals and clinics 141-153 

Needs 142-144 

Sewage 155-166,234 

Water supply - 169-179 

Public Works: 

Planning 1 1-14, 97-98, 222 

PWA criteria 36 

Ratio of labor to materials 20-21 

Regenerative effects 10 

Revenue producing 8, 203-205 

Theory of _ _ 1-14 

R 

Railroads 41, 188-189, 220 

Raritan, N. J. (See footnote.) 156 

Raritan River 70, 155-156 

Reclamation 30 

Reconstruction Finance Corpora-. 

tion - 6, 183 

Regional offices (chart) 42, 44, 45 

Rental, housing 215-216 

Revenue bonds 53, 56,65-67,69 

Rhode Island: Mental hospital 147 

Roads and highways 8, 30, 36, 97, 

104-106, 182-188, 226-230, 241-244 
Rochester, N. Y__.. ___ 136 

Rolla, Mo 153 

Roosevelt, Theodore 96 

Round Rock, Tex __ 177 



Salem, Oreg 197 

St. Paul _ 156,165 

San Antonio, Tex 210 

San Francisco: 

Fair 10 

Municipal credit 6 

Regional office. (See footnote.) __ 45 

United States mint 106 

Santa Anna, Tex 177 

Santee Cooper project 119 

Sayreville, N. J. (See footnote.) _ _ 156 



Schools: Page 

Alabama, University of 135 

Alburg, Vt _ 129-130 

Arkansas, University of 152 

Brooklyn, N. Y 134 

Columbus, Ga 133-134 

Consolidation - 130-132 

Construction 8,127-139 

Construction standards 138,139 

Genesee County, N. Y 134 

Georgia, University of 152 

Howard University 137 

Illinois, University of 152 

Indiana, University of 152 

Indianapolis. (See footnote.) 134 

Indian 109, 136 

Kansas, University of 152 

Keyser, W. Va 80 

Long Beach, N. Y 16 

Los Angeles 79 

Louisville, University of 152 

Lyme, Conn 130-131 

Maryland, University of 152 

Modernization 132-135 

Palm Springs, Calif 130 

Philadelphia ___ 132 

Rochester, N. Y., Library 136 

Safety factors 137 

Syracuse University 151 

Topeka . 22-24 

United States Military Academy. 136 

United States Naval Academy 136 

Virginia 131 

Virginia Polytechnic Institute 135 

Washington, University of 252-255 

Seattle 253 

Sewage: 

Carlstadt, N. J 77 

Chicago 162,234-238 

District of Columbia 164 

Economic losses 156-158 

Fox River 162-163 

Garbage disposal 166 

Iowa 160 

Minneapolis 165 

Mississippi River 157 

New York State 160-161 

Ohio 161-162 

Ohio River 157 

Perth Amboy, N. J 156 

Raritan River 155-166 

St. Paul 165 

Treatment plants. __ 8, 30, 155-166, 237 



297 



Sewage Continued Page 

Wisconsin. _ _ 162-163 

Sing Sing (N. Y.) Prison 200 

Snyder, Okla... 173 

Somerville, N. J. (See footnote.) __ 156 
South Carolina: 

Electric power 119 

Water supply 177 

South Dakota: State Hotel 204 

South River, N. J. (See footnote.)- 156 

Stamford, Conn 216 

Stockton, Calif 204 

Stream pollution.... 53, 155-166,234-235 

Supreme Court 58-59, 235 

Sutherland, Justice 58 

Syracuse University. .. 151 



Texas: 

Federal prison 200 

Legislation 55 

Lower Colorado River author- 
ity.-. 119-122 

Water supply 177 

Tonawanda, N. Y 161 

Topeka : 

Auditorium 201 

School 22-26 

Wage expenditures 22-26 

Transportation. 181-193, 226-230, 241-244 

Treasury, United States 41 

Triborough Bridge authority 70, 

186, 226-230 

Tulane University 146 

Tyronza, Ark. _ 176 



u 

University Park, Tex 177 

Universities. (See Schools.) 

United States Military Academy 136 

United States Naval Academy 136, 

164-165 

United St-':* Public Health Serv- 
ice. f__. 142 
Utah:~Ogden reclamation project. __ 112 



V 

Virginia: p age 

Blue Ridge Parkway 104 

Legislation 52 

Schools.. 131 

Stream pollution 164 

Virginia Polytechnic Institute 135 

W 

Wages, distribution of 20, 22 

Wagner, Sen. Robert F_ _ 4, 217 

Warehouses 204 

Washington, D. C 216 

Washington National Airport 191 

Washington State 26,88, 

116-119,252-255 

Washington, University of 252-255 

Water supply: 

Bloomdale, Ohio 174 

Chicago 172, 173-174 

Delaware 173 

Denver 172 

Economic value 171, 176-178 

Employment 30 

Fire-insurance rates _ .. 171,176-177 

Los Angeles 172 

Mina, Nev_. 174 

New York City. _ 172 



Ohio 

Quality of_ 



173 

170 

Snyder, Okla 173 

South Carolina 177 

Texas _.-_____ 177 

Treatment 77, 174, 175-176 

Tyronza, Ark 176 

Webster, N. Y 170-171 

West Virginia 170 

Wilton, Ala . 173, 255-257 

Wayne, Pa 214 

Webster, N. Y 170-171 

West Virginia: 

Kanawha Dam 112 

Water supply 177 

WillacyCo., Tex_. 233 

Wilton, Ala___ . 173,255-257 

Woodbridge, N. J. (See footnote.)- 156 



298 



154458 -1939