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Forums Forums Business December 17th, 1977. West Virginians Get A Bridge Built For Them By The Soviet Union. : AlternateHistory

  • December 17th, 1977. West Virginians Get A Bridge Built For Them By The Soviet Union. : AlternateHistory

     Arianna updated 2 years, 7 months ago 1 Member · 1 Post
  • Arianna

    Member
    February 12, 2020 at 6:31 pm

    The small town of Vulcan, WV fell on hard times after the coal mining business dried up in the 60s. Only a few hundred people remained in the isolated mountain town who’s only means of access were a narrow gravel road owned by the rail road company and a rickety swinging bridge, which would collapse in ’75. Pleas to have a proper bridge built went unanswered by the state and federal government.

    Desperate, the local bartender/ unofficial mayor wrote to the Soviet embassy in Washington and to East Germany, asking for foreign aid to help get a bridge built. A Russian reporter visited Vulcan to survey the situation and report the viability back to the USSR. On the day he arrived however, West Virginia officials approved the funding for a new bridge. In essence, the West Virginia government was shamed into providing a bridge.

    But what if that didn’t happen? Vulcan is still dismissed by West Virginia. But their request to the USSR is granted. And over the next two years, the USSR sends engineers, architects and workers build a bridge for the people of Vulcan.

    How does the country react to a community getting help from a rival super power and not their own government? Does this change the perception of Russia in the eyes of the west? Does this spark other downtrodden communities to appeal to the USSR for aid? Does this change any national policies in regards to government aid for civil engineering, infrastructure and public works projects? And how does this effect the cold war moving forward?

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