Small in Texas

March 16, 2009

Maybe BBQ ribs should be eaten with chopsticks.

Maybe BBQ ribs should be eaten with chopsticks.

It appeared the state of Texas was ready to adopt a slab of Chinese culture behind a great wall full of designs for the now-nameless Trans-Texas Corridor. This 4,000-mile corridor was ripped straight from the Far East playbook, one that would open up huge holes for commerce-filled semitrailers traveling to and from the U.S. and Mexico. It called for an elephantine 1,200-ft right-of-way that would house a total of 12 lanes. At $175 billion, the price also carried some mammoth tusks, but state officials were looking up at the ivory towers of private investors in the hopes of a long line of cash.

Unfortunately, the game plan was hit with some negative blocks. Texas lawmakers and advocacy groups, most notably the Corridor Watch, put the Trans-Texas Corridor in a headlock that continued to tighten until DOT officials coughed up a surrender.

Those at the transportation headquarters insist that it is just the name that was wiped from the face of the earth, that the corridor will essentially still be built as planned. However, the waistline of this pot-bellied project will be sucked in considerably—it will be reduced to half of the original 1,200-ft width. Furthermore, sections will be assembled following a haphazard schedule instead of one that was more regimented.

It sounds like the Texas DOT will be doing a lot more than shuffling words around. In fact, what it sounds like is the agency had too many negative words stuffed down its throat from combative lawmakers and the general public.

“[This] result is a major victory,” David Stall, co-founder of the Corridor Watch, told the Dallas Morning News after the announcement of the abolishment of the Trans-Texas Corridor was made.

A victory, huh. Is the fact that our nation’s economy will continue to grind its gears on stop-and-go interstate systems reason to cheer? Is the fact that a developing country like China will continue to pick-ax its way to the summit of this global marketplace a reason to raise and wave the Stars and Stripes?

Americans seem to develop a nervous gulp whenever change comes at them fast, heavy and different. Give them a foreign set of utensils and the stomachs begin to turn. When the National Interstate System was slowly canvassing the landscape, lawmakers and groups like the Corridor Watch flexed the same kind of vocal chords. The federal government, however, knew the benefits deflected anything that was thrown at it.

The Trans-Texas Corridor, three words that despite what officials say have been permanently inked on any and all future discussions, was supposed to be the shining star of future megaprojects in the U.S. Public-private partnerships were going to toll this corridor into reality. Leases were out on two stretches, and I believe more would have followed. The plan was born big and fat, a perfect offspring of the state of Texas.

But now the blueprints are being stepped on as they lie on the floor of rejection. Only pieces remain, and instead of taking 50 years to complete it may take much longer for the links to be sealed.

Without proper road corridors, food prices will continue to rise, pollution will continue to build and the U.S. will continue to be stripped of its world stripes. And who knows, if China continues to build muscle, everyone might be eating with chopsticks some day.

Sponsored Recommendations

The Science Behind Sustainable Concrete Sealing Solutions

Extend the lifespan and durability of any concrete. PoreShield is a USDA BioPreferred product and is approved for residential, commercial, and industrial use. It works great above...

Proven Concrete Protection That’s Safe & Sustainable

Real-life DOT field tests and university researchers have found that PoreShieldTM lasts for 10+ years and extends the life of concrete.

Revolutionizing Concrete Protection - A Sustainable Solution for Lasting Durability

The concrete at the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center is subject to several potential sources of damage including livestock biowaste, food/beverage waste, and freeze/thaw...

The Future of Concrete Preservation

PoreShield is a cost-effective, nontoxic alternative to traditional concrete sealers. It works differently, absorbing deep into the concrete pores to block damage from salt ions...