One of the recurring themes this fall as we worked our way along the Great River Road, crossing the Mississippi back and forth between Iowa and Wisconsin was, in fact, the question of crossing the river.  We think of “bridge-building” as a metaphor for bringing communities together, but the construction of real-life bridges was often…

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George Washington was a road builder long before he was a nation-builder. As a young officer under the ill-fated General Braddock, he helped construct a military road from western Maryland to Pennsylvania.* As president of the new United States, he dreamed of a trans-Appalachian road that would unify the new nation and aid westward expansion.…

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