Interstate Highway System

February/16/2008 21:58PM
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The interstate highway system is 50 years old. President Eisenhower said” more than anything else, this will change the face of America”. The first 10 years 50% of the system was built, it was essentially done by 1980.

It took over 10 years to build an extension of I-355 in the Chicago suburbs. It opened in 2007. It was about 15 miles. We would never be able to build the interstate system today, good thing it was done over 28 years ago. Permit issues, environmental issues, and budget requirements would make it impossible to do today. Someone’s ox is always being gored today and they will find a way to block progress. Leaders today have no capacity to do what is best for the majority. They have to appease every group. No tradeoffs.

What else can’t we build today? Refineries, chemical plants, airports, nuclear plants, power plants, wind power anywhere near the Kennedy Compound(I love that term Compound, I need a term for my house), dams, manufacturing plants anywhere north of the Mason Dixon line, water terminals, offshore drilling, and many others. 

What can we build. The population and the demand for all the things we can’t build. A few years down the road, the trade offs won’t be a few people who don’t want these things built, but it will be the cost to procure demand for what we didn’t build. Those with enough money will have all they want. There will be an active black market. We will look back and have many, many regrets that we had no leaders who could work around the tradeoffs.

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Comment (1)

  1. Ken says:

    You’re too harsh Bill, I know that roads have not been maintained, but just look at how many mini-malls have been built and we now have a new bank being built on every corner. Unfortunately, all the roads leading to these places are riddled with potholes, so at some point we won’t be able to get there unless we revert back to using Mules….Trade in your Lexus and get a mule. It’s probably just as fast and Al Gore will be very proud of you.

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