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Huge Hole in California Dam Spillway Symbolizes U.S. Policy Crisis; Civil Engineers Release ‘Big Engineering’ Movie

Feb. 11, 2017 (EIRNS)—Americans are now seeing on mass media, an image which helps bring home the crisis in U.S. infrastructure—a huge hole opened up on Feb. 8, in the spillway for the Oroville Dam, the tallest (770 feet) dam in the United States. Engineers have rushed in with contingency measures, and are rationing the flow from Lake Oroville, to deter out-of-control erosion. The subliminal message is that physical economy and mankind’s actions are reality, not "markets" and identity politics.

The spillway gash is at least 45 feet deep, and 250 feet long. The Oroville Dam itself is intact. Finished in 1968, under the Reagan governorship, the northern California dam, on the Feather River, is a key part of the California Water Project, the large-scale water management system. The CWP allowed for a leap in productivity in the state, and was seen as the forerunner to the intended, continental-scale North American Water and Power Alliance, which was thwarted.

As it happens, this week the American Society of Civil Engineers is releasing its new film, "Dream Big: Engineering Our World." It is set to open at most locations on Feb. 17, after a gala IMAX premiere at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Sponsored by Bechtel Corp., which got its start during the Franklin Delano Roosevelt years, on the Hoover Dam, the movie is geared for enlisting youth to be engineers. a