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The Super Superhighway

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the we-got-a-huge-convoy dept.

United States 1005

valdean writes "The state of Texas is seeking to build a 4,000-mile megahighway network between Oklahoma and Mexico, called the Trans-Texas Corridor. The highway will be up to a quarter-mile across, and include separate lanes for passenger vehicles, large trucks, freight railways, high-speed commuter railways, and infrastructure for utilities including water lines, oil and gas pipelines, electricity, and broadband. In a recent press release, the governor of Texas said it will 'forever change the way we build roads.' So much for scenic drives."

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Soooo... (1, Interesting)

josh3736 (745265) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216079)

What's wrong with Interstates?

Re:Soooo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216098)

It's going to tear up a large part of America to build something totally unnecessary.

Ah, you gotta love Texas.

Re:Soooo... (0, Flamebait)

spac3manspiff (839454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216125)

You have to remember it's the same state that produced g.w.bush. Thus we have lower standards
I gotta be ashamed to be texan

Re:Soooo... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216149)

You should be more ashamed that you're a dick. Actually, your parents should be ashamed.

Re:Soooo... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216154)

I thought GW was a Massachusetts boy who moved south? A Pseudo-Texan, if you will.

Re:Soooo... (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216156)

"I gotta be ashamed to be texan".

Just differentiate yourself from the stereotypes we see on TV.

That is, ditch the cowboy hat, you're not a cowboy, ditch the football pennant, it's a stupid game [cricket is cooler] and drink a good Canadian ale or two ;-)

Then you can safely say "bush? bush? He's not our type of person."

Hehehehe

[I'm kiddin btw, I actually don't know the first thing aboug texas seeing how I've never been there.]

Re:Soooo... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216148)

Not wide enough for the next version Humvee.

Re:Soooo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216150)

Obviously, what's wrong with regular interstates is that regular interstates don't take up half the country, go *everywhere*, and are free.

- E

Re:Soooo... (5, Informative)

Ranger96 (452365) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216221)

The main problem with Interstate 35 here in Texas (which is currently the main highway from Mexico north through Texas) is that it passes directly through San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas/Fort Worth, and all of the surrounding suburban sprawl. The Interstate has doubled as a high volume artery through all of these urban areas, with massive amounts of development surrounding them. Over many years, and accelerating rapidly post-NAFTA, the amount of truck traffic on I35 has caused (or at least been a major contributor to) gridlock in the urban areas.

If the new super highway is planned and executed correctly (i.e. limited development along the route, avoid passing directly through urban areas, etc.), it could do a lot to help traffic problems in the cities. Also, from the conceptual pictures I've seen, it will be safer for both passenger vehicles and trucks, because they will be running on separate sets of lanes with their own entrance/exit ramps, etc.

Re:Soooo... (4, Funny)

akgunkel (567825) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216245)

I live in Texas... People who haven't been here can't understand a phrase like "big as Texas." Going from El Paso to DFW via the interstate is like crossing interstellar space in the STS!

Instead of the TTC we need Trans-Warp Conduits!

First post! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216083)

First post!

Re:First post! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216115)

Damn it! Not first post! (But still second post!)

Speedy Limit (2, Insightful)

neoform (551705) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216084)

any bets it'll still be something like 65mph..?

Re:Speedy Limit (1)

woodlander (737137) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216138)

No doubt, the plan to pay for it is with the fines collected from speeding tourists. Not too different from the present day.

Re:Speedy Limit (1)

Atrax (249401) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216267)

So that's why you lot are sticking with miles when almost everyone else uses kilometres. It's a revenue stream.

We think 110 is a nice cruising speed for the freeway.

Re:Speedy Limit (1)

ArticleI (842868) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216145)

There will never be an American autobahn.

Re:Speedy Limit (5, Interesting)

damiangerous (218679) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216212)

Montana, late 90's. It was the safest period ever [motorists.com] on the roads there.

Re:Speedy Limit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216293)

You realize that almost nobody lives in Montana, right?

Re:Speedy Limit (2, Informative)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216151)

The left lane is always the fastest. So chances are very good to have a dedicted "high-speed" lane at the far left side. As long as your car is in good shape, the road is flat/strait, and good weather; driving at 100MPH should not be a problem for most.

Note: driving 70 to 80 is not uncommon in the Houston area. But if your driving 75Mph and a COP drives by, then you know your driving to slow.

Ah the Speed Limit (4, Interesting)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216165)

The speed limit is an interesing thing though that varies with location.

Here in Atlanta, we have some funny rules about that. It goes like this: If you aren't going at least 10 over then you are a fucking jackass and deserve to be run off the road. That is unless you are in the HOV lane. In that case you better be doing at least 20 over or you are fair game. Also, if you are in a small compact car, then you had better be going a lot faster than the average speed of SUVs on the same road, as they reserve the right to mow you over at any time they choose.

Lastly, if you have a hummer, just FUCKING STOP PRETENDING THAT IT WILL HANDLE LIKE A VETTE! You'll sleep better and I promise your manhood won't suffer to much.

Disclaimer: I'm not saying I agree with these rules. They are just what a majority of the local democracy has decided upon.

yes (0)

spac3manspiff (839454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216085)

yes but will the highway offer wifi??

Holy crap Ross Perot was right! (4, Funny)

PrvtBurrito (557287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216086)

this must be that giant sucking sound Ross Perot was referring to.

Go for it. (0, Redundant)

Zonnald (182951) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216089)

That's what everyone needs a 1/4 mile (or 400 metre) wide Highway.

The Roads Must Roll (4, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216096)

Wow, am I alone in being reminded of the classic Robert Heinlein [heinleinsociety.org] story The Roads Must Roll? [wikipedia.org]

The Heinlein concordance [heinleinsociety.org] describes the Diego-Reno Roadtown

(It was a ) Motorized roadway that connected San Diego, California, and Reno, Nevada, on and around which a metropolitan area grew up; its terminal was called Diego Circle. The automated roads themselves were large enough to accommodate restaurants and other businesses, as well as the engineers' offices.

Re:The Roads Must Roll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216192)

You're not the only one. It also reminds me of the famous Route 66 highway [wikipedia.org] that runs through Texas and is almost 2500 miles long. It was a big boost for trade.

Re:The Roads Must Roll (1)

applef00 (574694) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216244)

The Roads Must Roll is a good story. You should also check out the "Dimension X" radio drama adaptation (originally broadcast Sept. 9, 1950). Try searching your favorite filesharing system, especially Gnutella. It's a popular one.

Re:The Roads Must Roll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216268)

You are not the only one reminded. I thought of that immediately - although I'm not sure that we have the sunscreen technology available just yet.

Pave the Earth! (3, Funny)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216097)

yiihaaa!

Re:Pave the Earth! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216198)

Feed the Weird!

Great (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216100)

This will make it easier for those foreign people from Mexico comming over illegully.

Re:Great (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216272)

This will make it easier for those foreign people from Mexico comming over illegully.

Yep, the only thing liberals hate more that those honky-tonk redneck racists from Texas are spics.

vulnerable to terrorist attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216106)

Seems like it will be easy to take out not only interstate traffic but rail, utilities and whatever else at the same time by grouping all of these together in a single corridor.

Re:vulnerable to terrorist attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216119)

Yes, but if you mess with Texas...

Fine and Dandy (1)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216113)

Well that's great for texas, but in my state the houses are built pretty close to the highway. There's no way we could build something like this. For most states, this is not an option.

Re:Fine and Dandy (2, Informative)

Staplerh (806722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216168)

From the article:

Officials promise property owners will be fairly compensated for any land seized.

I suppose they would seize them? Of course, it'd be a lot of different property owners to deal with, rather than just a few farmers.

Interesting that there is a capacity to seize land, especially in the United States where the right to property seems so enshrined in your constitution? I'll have to look into this further.

Re:Fine and Dandy (4, Informative)

BurritoWarrior (90481) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216209)

Interesting that there is a capacity to seize land, especially in the United States where the right to property seems so enshrined in your constitution? I'll have to look into this further.

Two words: eminent domain.

Re:Fine and Dandy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216219)

Interesting that there is a capacity to seize land, especially in the United States where the right to property seems so enshrined in your constitution? I'll have to look into this further.

It's known as eminent domain. Without it, it would be essentially impossible to construct public works such as roads. Anyone whose property is seized must be compensated at fair value.

Re:Fine and Dandy (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216178)

Actually, I think it would work outside of the urban areas in every state west of say, North Carolina. There are some built up areas, but honestly the United States is concentrating in the urban cores and there are fewer and fewer people living out of the cities. Look at every state west of the Mississippi and half of them west of the Ohio river, lots of empty space.

Re:Takings laws? (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216183)


If the government decided that it would be for the "greater good," the current distance between houses and the highway is no impediment. They'll just take the land, and pay its owners what ever its version of the going market rate is.

Re:Fine and Dandy (1)

Wesser (640550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216193)

Except states have a right to aquisition. So they can say "We're building a big road and your house is in the way. Here's a check for what we think it's worth. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out." Houses don't mean anything to them when they're building highways.

Re:Fine and Dandy (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216215)

Is your state attached to Mexico?

This is all about finding a way to get all those cheap NAFTA goods into the country, not about shaving a few minutes off your morning commute.

Traffic jams? (2, Insightful)

dmuth (14143) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216116)

I am curious... will this "super superhigway" have fewer traffic jams or more traffic jams than traditional highways? Sure, there will be more lanes, but if some stupid driver decides to cut across 5 lines of traffic to try and make an exit and causes a 500 car pileup, how badly will traffic be affected?

Here's something else to think about: rest stops. They'll have to be HUGE. Like shopping malls. That could certainly be interesting.

Re:Traffic jams? (4, Informative)

josh3736 (745265) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216166)

Turnpike rest areas (or "service centers" or whatever) are already like malls. On Ohio's turnpike, you get everything from the Burger King, Starbuck's and gift shops.

In terms of the traffic, there are 2 possible outcomes: The highway will sit almost completely unused [google.com] or it will be a giant parking lot as everyone uses this megaroad to get wherever they're going.

Re:Traffic jams? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216189)

"if some stupid driver decides to cut across 5 lines of traffic to try and make an exit and causes a 500 car pileup, how badly will traffic be affected?"

Let's see. 500 car pileup. Since you can't figure that one out, you must be the stupid guy who is driving.

Re:Traffic jams? (1)

zahl2 (821572) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216252)

Texas already has 5 lane highways. I never noticed an abnormal number of accidents. I don't remember rest stops. Maybe I never stopped?

Why? (2, Interesting)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216117)

I mean.... why? Why would you possibly need such a road? It seems incredibly wasteful to me, and nothing more than someone trying to overcompensate.

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

weorthe (666189) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216206)

The road sounds like it's intended to be the Mississippi River or Transcontinental Railroad of the future. Texas wants to be the nations land port. But with more and more trade coming from China instead of Mexico maybe they should build it east-west instead.

Sort of just kidding.

Re:Why? (1)

DarkMantle (784415) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216257)

"I mean, c'mon, he's obviously over-compensating for something" - Shrek

Seroiusly tho, the only reason I can think of is bragging rights.

Re:Why? (3, Interesting)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216260)

Well, you could look at it this way: rather than siezing miles of right of way in bits and pieces, owned by dozens of entities, criscrossing the countryside and each requiring access rodes, utilities, etc., for gas, electricity, water, cable, fiber, roads, freight/passenger rail, and busways, just squish 'em into one structure, save space and time, and make that the backbone you can then hang everything else off of.

The question is, will sound urban planning be used to then maximize the potential of the mega-road to connect communities without disrupting the countryside, or will the road be used instead to facilitate massive sprawl?

Any implementation of a road that spans a quarter-mile in width is going to need sections that are either elevated or underground, or else you're going to have issues with wildlife and drainage...

Scenic Drives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216122)

There are very few scenic interstate drives.

jaw cracked (0)

http (589131) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216129)

from hitting the floor. this is so fundamentally wrong on so many levels that it boggles the mind. clearly, politicians aren't being bought by multinationals any more. they're being bought by construction firms.

mod parent down: retard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216153)

It is 100% privately funded. Parent is looking for free karma.

Re:jaw cracked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216191)

Shouldn't that be p.mod.troll and p.mod.flamebait? I would suspect the "mod" object is a member of the "p" object (Which I assume means post)

Re:jaw cracked (1)

Brian_Ellenberger (308720) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216196)

from hitting the floor. this is so fundamentally wrong on so many levels that it boggles the mind. clearly, politicians aren't being bought by multinationals any more. they're being bought by construction firms.

RTFA:

"financed mostly if not entirely with private money. The builders would then charge motorists tolls."

Brian Ellenberger

Re:jaw cracked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216254)

Please ignore http. He is a suspected Canadian who is unable to read.

Re:jaw cracked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216227)

> clearly, politicians aren't being bought by multinationals any more. they're being bought by construction firms.

Suggest you read Robert Caro's biography of Lyndon B. Johnson... there's a long history of construction firms buying politicians in Texas!

Scenic Texas (2, Interesting)

thedogcow (694111) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216134)

I live in Houston. Its flat, its trafficky, humid, the picture perfect example of urban sprawl with no zoning plans (i.e. porn-shop-next-to-a-church-next-to-a-liquor-store) .

Lets face it. Texas is mostly not an attractive state. Maybe west Texas is a bit more interesting but it is loaded with scary folk. At least Houstonians don't really represent a "Texan".

Re: Scenic Texas (4, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216188)


> the picture perfect example of urban sprawl with no zoning plans (i.e. porn-shop-next-to-a-church-next-to-a-liquor-store)

That's called the "weekend one-stop".

Re:Scenic Texas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216190)

Trust me, you are not missing anything in West Texas either. Mesquite bushes and flat horizon as far as you can see.

Re:Scenic Texas (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216195)

I'm willing to bet that if this stupid idea ever gets off the ground, its going to have one-lane-wide exits and traffic jams for miles as all the traffic tries to fit into the exit. See exit ramp from 59 coming into town to 610 going North on the southwest side for a real live example...

People keep thinking making the roads wider will fix all the traffic problems, but none of them go out to look at what the hell the traffic problem IS, and 95% of the time here, its the entrace/exit ramps (the other 5% its some drooling idiot who managed to run into another car while they're all going the same direction).

Re:Scenic Texas (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216218)

Texas is by far the greatest state. If you dont like it then leave. We dont need you and your whining. oh boo hoo we have porno next to a church, so what, go cry about it, i'll be laughing when you are you somewhere else getting mugged in the cold weather while I am floating down the guadalupe surrounded by loads of hot texas chicks drinking cases of lone star beer and smoking the best weed this side of amsterdam, just ask Willie Nelson. Texas is obviously too good for you. Go back to Rhode Island.

Re:Scenic Texas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216275)

I have a better idea: If you carved up Texas in a one mile wide strip, it would reach to the Moon. Let's use it to build a freeway to the Moon!

Hmm.. some problems with this. (4, Insightful)

Staplerh (806722) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216139)

On the surface, I was inclined to say that this is a good idea - centralization seems to be the way of the day, and centralizing all these services in one superhighway could work. It'll revitalize the area that the superhighway goes through, much like the trains of the 1800s.

That being said, there is a lot of reluctance to this project. Despite what the governor claims, this most certainly isn't a repeat of the Eisenhower-era Interstate project. It's probably just an opportunity for private corporations to enter the arena of mass transportation.. they would get some sort of rights over the variety of communications means that course through this privately-owned and made superhighways.

The article refers to the use of private tolls to sustain this. Clearly, these investing businesses have done an analysis and realized that they can profit off this - despite its 'whopping' $175 bn price tag.

This project would change the shape of the areas affected. New areas along the 'superhighway', and the areas that didn't get included... It would be interesting to see if this project goes ahead, and if towns then lobby in order to have access to the highway.

Re:Hmm.. some problems with this. (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216241)

It'll revitalize the area that the superhighway goes through

Except for maybe the quarter-mile wide strip that it goes over. (And I just know that those trains will hog the left lane!)

Re: Hmm.. some problems with this. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216288)


> The article refers to the use of private tolls to sustain this. Clearly, these investing businesses have done an analysis and realized that they can profit off this - despite its 'whopping' $175 bn price tag.

There's a big push for toll roads in central Texas right now, including retrofitting tolls on roads already paid for by tax dollars, because there isn't enough pavement and the politicians think they'll be lynched if they even suggest raising taxes.

Whatever else is on his mind, the Texas governer is surely keen on all the Federal highway funds that this project would suck into the state.

Neato! (2, Interesting)

BrainDebugged (835729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216142)

-- corridors up to a quarter-mile across, consisting of as many as six lanes for cars and four for trucks, plus railroad tracks, oil and gas pipelines, water and other utility lines, even broadband transmission cables.
Awesome, but will Linux run on it too?

Seriously though, this seems like it would be a nightmare to drive on. Having to cross a dozen lanes just to get off would be nerve racking, especially during rush hour. Also is it such a good idea to have oil and gas pipelines on this "SuperHighway" too? What if a a fully loaded 18-Wheeler crashes into them? Or, will these pipelines be below ground? I would hope so.

And I say... (1)

rasafras (637995) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216146)

...where are those flying cars already? And if we keep building things like this and flying cars come about, what will ever happen to them? I mean, some people will still drive cars around, but less and less... probably even preferring airtaxis for longer trips. So the more highways we build now, the better today... the worse tomorrow.

How straight will it be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216152)

When they first built the interstate highway system, they found that the accident rate was higher than they predicted because the roads were too straight, and drivers were falling asleep or losing concentration. The roads need some turns to keep drivers attentive. If they are going to be building this along the same path as high-speed rail, which need straight lines, I have the feeling they'll be making the same mistake for these highways.

Nafta (1)

david einstein (844660) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216160)

" Supporters say the corridors are needed to handle the expected NAFTA-driven boom in the flow of goods to and from Mexico and to enable freight haulers to bypass heavily populated urban centers on straight-shot highways that cut across the countryside.".. ahh Nafta was signed like 10 years ago. Clinton signed it and got head AT THE SAME TIME. Didn't you watch the press release.

Maybe a good idea but it should stop at the border (2, Interesting)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216161)

I mean really, don't illegals have an easy enough time getting into the US? This is the blue collar equivalent of stringing a backbone cable to India.

Five words for stupid people who are opposed: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216163)

STFU liberal.

Re:Five words for stupid people who are opposed: (5, Insightful)

NeoChaosX (778377) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216213)

So you are to assume all people who oppose this are liberals? What about the fiscal conservatives who think it is a waste of money?

Re:Five words for stupid people who are opposed: (3, Insightful)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216250)

What about the fiscal conservatives

There are no fiscal conservatives in government anymore.

Ten gallon hat, half-pint brain (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216164)

Rick Perry's job when George W was governor was to make Dubya look like a genius by comparison. Now he makes Homer Simpson look like a raving genius by comparison. It doesn't matter that Texas schools are in a crisis -- Perry's priority is to get cheap Mexican goods to Oklahoma faster so his buddies will profit.

wide load (1)

apoch2001 (701484) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216170)

I guess they need the quarter mile width to service the ever growing size of their cars :)

Strange Reaction (2, Insightful)

Thunderstruck (210399) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216171)

Does anyone else thing maybe we're getting a little bit too mobile? It used to be that travel exposed us to unique local cultures, ideas, and products. We identified ourselves with our own home turf.

Now, we seem to be becomming just bland "American" consumers. We watch the same entertainment, we listen to the same songs, we shop in the same chain stores, and we wear the same clothes.

When was the last time you heard someone tell you they wanted to carry on the family tradition of a particular trade. How many college students move back to the small town because its "home"? How many of us devoutly carry on our family religions? Or how many of us think about retirement when we get our first job?

Humm (2, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216207)

In John Keegan's "Fields of Battles", a military history of wars in North America, he talks about coming to the United States in the 1950s for the first time and how refreshing it was to be in a place as big as the United States and have it be a single culture. From the Northeast to the South to the Great Plains, he says, there are some differences, but you knew it was a unified culture by how much alike everything is.

Re:Strange Reaction (4, Insightful)

Solder Fumes (797270) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216224)

How many of us give half of a crap about any of the above? How many of us think that everything should stay exactly the same as it was when we were kids, except it never was that way because we're just looking back through a nostalgia filter?

Re:Strange Reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216246)

It's the 21st century baby!!
Get over it and move on!

Just one more reason (1)

AndyChrist (161262) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216177)

Why "Texas, it's like a whole different country," is more than a tourism slogan...it should be a goal.

Re:Just one more reason (2, Interesting)

JudgeFurious (455868) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216234)

Trust me on this one Andy, the feeling is mutual.

Nice idea in a warm climate, but... (1)

Richard Steiner (1585) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216194)

...in places that actually get snow, imagine the effort needed to keep such a roadway clear.

Unless some sort of built-in de-icing system is part of the plan? :-)

A little overzealous, aren't we? (2, Interesting)

lpangelrob2 (721920) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216201)

Umm... we want to create 4,000 miles of terrorist in Texas target for... what reason, exactly?

I'm sort of a road geek, so I'll narrate a bit. I don't think there's anything wrong with the way Interstates run now, except maybe that trucks and cars use the same lanes of traffic. Fixing that would be a $125 billion project in itself. As for infrastructure... well, here's how things look right now...

There's a good chunk of fiber running along U.S. 24 (a highway) in Illinois... not an Interstate. There are seven major transmission lines... only one runs along an Interstate for a long while, and that's because it used to be U.S. 51, not I-39. There are at least four major oil lines in the state. They're clearly marked, but I couldn't tell you were they were, except for maybe "Joliet and Chicago". This is because one runs along state highway 83, and another cuts through and under backyards in the western 'burbs. And I see a bunch of refineries right next to I-55. So these two sightings are possibly the same pipe. :-) Railroad follow U.S. routes pretty strictly... except for a few that follow state routes. Oh, and most of the state drags its water out of wells, or the Illinois River / Lake Michigan. That pipe is very much unmarked.

Besides the fact that I like the idea that at most two of those infrastructures can be taken out at once, I also like that I don't know where everything goes. I can tell you that they go across farms, which doesn't help you at all. Security through obscurity? Sure. But it's pretty effective when the infrastructure is tens / hundreds of miles apart.

Re:A little overzealous, aren't we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216258)

I'm sort of a road geek,

Sheesh, the weirdos only come out at night, huh?

Everything's bigger in Texas! (1)

warmgun (669556) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216210)

They should just pave over the whole state and get it over with.

There is no free lunch and no free road," he said. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216216)

He went on to add, "But at Slashdot, there is free music, movies and software. Maybe we should take a page from the fantasy book they live their lives by."

Put that money into the disaster (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11216220)

of the earthquake, you texan clods!

And then Bush wonders why the U.S (the west actually) was treated of being cheap. Yeah put your own money to keep up the lazy life. BROADBAND ON HIGHWAYS THATS ALL WE NEEDED WHILE PEOPLE HAVE LADDERS MADE IN BAMBOO.

Perry has seen the future? (5, Funny)

vanboy (595995) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216226)

"Some thought the Trans-Texas Corridor was a pie-in-the-sky idea that would never see the light of day," said Perry, who has compared his plan to the interstate highway system started during the Eisenhower administration. "We have seen the future, and it's here today."
He must not have seen Back to the Future. Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads.

Sounds like a great idea!! (2, Insightful)

MAdMaxOr (834679) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216229)

It will make for an excellent target^H^H^H^H^H^H transportation method. -Osama

Look up (1)

lamber45 (658956) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216231)

Don't forget to leave space for monorails [monorails.org] !

Seriously, once in a while I draw diagrams of things like this in my spare time, but having five or ten different services running the entire length of a 700-mile corridor does sound like colossal boondoggle. It also sounds like an invitation to terrorist attack.

A 4,000-mile road would have to cover a longer path; say from the Hudson Bay to Acapulco, going through Mexico City, Houston, Chicago and Milwaukee on the way.

Environmental Impact Study? (2, Insightful)

DanMc (623041) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216233)

There is 1 sentence in the article about environmental impact. I'd say this is huge, and I'm not normally one to gripe about environmental issues unless I'm trying to impress a girl.

"Environmentalists are worried..." How is any animal going to cross this thing? Most animals won't go under an underpass a half mile long, and the only underpasses are likely to be for crossing traffic anyway.

Some more details... (3, Informative)

mbourgon (186257) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216236)

I read an article about it last week.

Cintra is ponying up all the money for this project. The State of Texas will pay nothing. And gets the ability to take over tolls in 50 years.

It will go south, around the east side of Dallas, and around the east side of Austin.

Tolls are expected to be about what current tolls are, which means (according to the Star Telegram, at least) to drive the whole thing will cost about $40. Seems like a lot, but it isn't - truck drivers have to routinely sit in Dallas/Fort Worth traffic, which probably costs an hour's worth of time. Same with Austin.

I don't particularly feel sorry for the small towns - usually, the town builds up around the road, and once they have several hundred people, drop the speed limit to 45 while going through their town. Thanks, guys. Not.

Oh, and the speed limit's supposed to be 85.

I'm really looking forward to it. For those of you who think this is minor, it's not. The drive from Mexico to Oklahoma is probably 10 hours - DFW is about an hour south from Oklahoma, 3 hours from Austin, and probably 8 from the border. Yes, Texas is big.

Single point of failure (1)

dschl (57168) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216251)

Yeah, let's tie all of our communications, transport, and energy infrastructure together, and place it into one convenient, easily-targeted place. What could possibly go wrong?

I'm not just referring to the ridiculous american fear of terrorism, but think about how something like a pipeline break, an earthquake, a propane tanker truck explosion, or a freight train derailment would impact all of the other services in this megahighway. Given the frequency of the above events, I would expect to see at least a few closures a year on what would be a critical piece of infrastucture.

But what's the point? (1)

iammaxus (683241) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216255)

I don't understand how there could possibly be a sudden need for so much transportation. Where will all the new cars, train riders, cargo, oil, and data come from?

Great way to spend money (1, Flamebait)

drakethegreat (832715) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216256)

Doesn't it make you prowd to be an American when we spend millions or even billions on projects like this that really don't matter too much in the long run when we could be spending money on research that matters. Well we won't have fusion but we will have a really long highway that can carry oil and other fossil fuels. Then again I guess this is what you would expect from a wasteful state such as Texas.

But... (1)

aluminumcube (542280) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216261)

Will it be paved in Cruzeways Inc soft pavement, for type B drivers or Fair Lanes Inc pattented grippy pavement, for type A drivers?

I am a type A driver with rabies...

God, the more I grow up, the more the world is looking like a Stephenson novel.

Move that 'za!

What are they not saying? (5, Insightful)

BrynM (217883) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216269)

The site promoting this is trying to be too many things to too many demographics with far too much feel-good speak...
  • Transportation routes for hazardous materials must avoid population centers whenever possible. Like... Um... A major highway? The proposed route [keeptexasmoving.com] passes through the heart of the most populated [keeptexasmoving.com] areas
  • TTC will help... allowing faster, safer and more reliable movement of people and goods... To Mexico? creating jobs and attracting businesses that benefit by having access to an efficient transportation network ... To be closer to the hazardous waste routes?
  • The estimated total cost for the system ranges from $145.2 billion to $183.5 billion. Public-private partnerships, which bring funding resources from the private sector, will play a key role in constructing and financing the system. Other options include leasing right of way, toll revenues, and state and federal funds. Leased right of way? Tolls? The Profit Superhighway. Think of who's friends will land those building contracts...
  • Will other projects suffer if the Trans-Texas Corridor becomes the top priority?... Maintaining the current highway system will continue to be our top priority. Those are from two seprate things in the FAQ. Incredibly, they are not related. In context [keeptexasmoving.com] , the seem to contradict. I'm betting two seperate people wrote these parts using "priority" as a buzzword. "Need" also has a prominant place in the FAQ.
  • The TTC will serve as a new delivery system to many communities across the state. For goods from Mexico? For immigrants from mexico?
I realize that I'm being a bit harsh, but I'm really skeptical of this. The information site actually has very few facts. The focus seems to be commerce rather than quality of life. They use too many "nicey words" to back up their ideas. I'm still pouring through the site trying to keep an open mind for something I think could actually be really useful and cool, but my geek-sense says not to trust it.

And It Will Be Built By Flying Monkeys! (4, Insightful)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216287)

All this rhetoric sounds fairly familiar. That's because about ten years ago Texas formed a "High Speed Rail Commission" to study THAT proposal. The end result was that a lot of bureaucrats got very fat salaries to study the proposal while it withered on the vine. This is an even more grandiose boondoggle, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the same special interests behind it. (Note that this is from a .com address, not a .gov address.) The funding and interest from the public at large simply aren't there. Right now there's a semi-revolt brewing over plans to turn highways previously constructed and paid for with bond money into toll roads. (I'm all for making new highways toll roads to pay for their construction, but screw double taxation.)

The real chances of this getting built are pretty close to zero.

Super High(UP)ways (2, Funny)

SmoothDime (843393) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216290)

I think this is great for transportation in general. This is a huge step in changing the way we think about highways and freeways. We need find better ways to relieve traffic jams and one of the most obvious is more lanes.

You may say it costs more but that cost will be paid back 100-fold in terms of delivering people to their destination more quickly. People in New York, Boston, LA and other major cities usually don't think twice about driving a car to work cause there's too much traffic.

Looking to the future I think you'll see these super highways stretching across much of the country and even high into the sky. If it where over some large city they'd be really high up and there'd be offramps to today's freeways.

Texas roads (1)

dacarr (562277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11216291)

Leave it to Texas to build a road 1/4 mile wide. That's about as wide as maybe ten of the "El Toro Y", the southern confluence of Interstates 5 and 405 in Orange County, CA.
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