The Erie Canal, the Big Dig and the Tennessee Valley Authority are among the largest public works projects completed in the U.S., writes Louis Uchitelle. However, Uchitelle notes that now the nation is not embarking on any similar large-scale projects. While megaprojects cannot pull the country out of a recession, they provide an economic boost that isn't easily quantified, he notes. Meanwhile, some politicians, such as Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell, are pushing for large projects that they believe could stimulate the economy.

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