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Interstate 69: Splitting America24:20
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The tale of U.S. Interstate 69, the Canada-to-Mexico super highway, unfinished as globalization runs low on gas.

Traffic on U.S. 63 passes a road sign indicating a future crossing of proposed Interstate 69 near Warren, Ark. (AP)
Traffic on U.S. 63 passes a road sign indicating a future crossing of proposed Interstate 69 near Warren, Ark. (AP)

U.S. Interstate 69 in its full glory or infamy, depending on your view, exists only on maps.

From the Canadian border up in Michigan down to Indianapolis – that part is built. Then right on down through Paducah and Memphis and Shreveport and Houston to the southern tip of Texas – that part is not.

It was dubbed “the NAFTA highway” by its backers twenty years ago, when that was exciting: Canada to Mexico! Then came a ton of pushback — from environmentalists and immigration foes and free-trade opponents.

It’s a saga. We trace the highway that won’t die: Interstate 69.
-Tom Ashbrook
Guest:

Matt Dellinger, author of "Interstate 69: the Unfinished History of the Last Great American Highway."  (You can read an excerpt here.) He has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Smithsonian, the New York Times, and more. He has also reported on transportation and planning for the public radio show, "The Takeaway."

This program aired on August 24, 2010.

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