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Interstate Highway System Turns 50

  1. Jun 29, 2006 #1
    Do you think the American people of today could sucessfully complete a project of this scale again? Do you feel as I do, that our country has some serious reinvestment in our current civil and social services infastructure. For the first time in American history the generation due to replace the boomers is smaller than its predecessor and is projected to be worse off financially. Do we have the capital resources to finance such an endevour and still provide for our grandparents as well as our children?
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  3. Jun 29, 2006 #2


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    The boomers were already spoiled, and now you want us to spoil them again when they are leaving us with almost nothing?

    Not only that. In Ontario, they are fighting (I think they won) to end optional mandatory retirement at 65. So now they won't even give us jobs either. Our health system, educational system, economy system, environmental system, etc... has hit the bottom of garbage bin and NOW they will hand it to us, but ONLY if they can pick the little bit that's left.

    NO, I don't think so.

    I can live with our current roads. Let's invest in our generation.

    Note: Sorry boomers, but it's true.
  4. Jun 29, 2006 #3


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    You are doomed, soon you will be walking around with no shoes and wearing straw hats, if you are luky you may have a beat up old pick up truck to drive
    and only then when you have brewed the fuel for it, and most of you will have to live off the land.
  5. Jun 29, 2006 #4


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    It's still not finished, and they have to repair much of it periodically. The American Society of Civil Engineers usually gives the US infrastructure low grades, the equivalent of C's and D's because it is poorly maintained, not to mention costly.
  6. Jun 29, 2006 #5
    But its scale and the benifits it provides is impressive none the less. I don't think there is anything quite like it in the world. Can we continue to maintain it, expand it (The I-69 corridor comes to mind) as well as all the other projects that were created during this post WWII era. I just see a whole lot of liabilities lining up on the 'ol GL and not enough income/assets to cover them.
  7. Jun 29, 2006 #6


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    The system is over-designed and under-utilized in Maine. First of all, the interstate highway system here was designed to allow vehicular traffic at 75 mph for vehicles that were very heavy, running on bias-ply tires, with braking systems and safety systems that would be considered abysmal by today's standards. Unfortunately, the low weight limit for the interstate system routes all heavy trucking (trucks carrying lime, cement, gravel, logs, etc) to secondary roads, which forces the costs of road maintenance onto local entities that may be unprepared to bear the costs.

    In Maine the top speed limit (65 mph) on the Interstate is a joke. You may adhere to the 65 mph limit (at your own risk, since everyone will be passing you at high rates of speed) or you can exceed that by 10 mph or so and still be passed by more cars than you will ever pass.
  8. Jun 30, 2006 #7
    Michigan has 75 mph speed limits on most interstates, and few good streches at 80. Road upgrades and repair is done pretty much every summer. Money for road repair comes from lottery ticket sales, and gas taxes.
  9. Jun 30, 2006 #8


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    The initial purpose of the interstate system was mobility for the military. The US government was very impressed with the German autobahn system, which allowed for a highly mobile military.


    Here is what the 160,000 mile National Highway System (Interstate System +) costs.
    http://www.dot.gov/bib2007/admins.html#fhwa [Broken]

    NPR : Highway System at 50
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
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