US divided by superhighway plan
By Craig Howie, The Scotsman, June 16, 2006
A MASSIVE road four football fields wide and running from Mexico to Canada through the heartland of the United States is being proposed amid controversy over security and the damage to the environment.
The "nation's most modern roadway", proposed between Laredo in Texas and Duluth, Minnesota, along Interstate 35, would allow the US to bypass the west coast ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to import goods from China and the Far East into the heart of middle America via Mexico, saving both cost and time.
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However, critics argue that the ten-lane road would lay a swathe of concrete on top of an already over-developed transport infrastructure and further open the border with Mexico to illegal immigrants or terrorists.
According to a weekly Conservative magazine published in the US, the US administration is "quietly yet systematically" planning the massive highway, citing as a benefit that it would negate the power of two unions, the Longshoremen and Teamsters....
Under the plan - believed to be an extension of a strategic transportation plan signed in March last year by the US president, George Bush, Paul Martin, the then prime minister of Canada, and Vincente Fox, the Mexican president - imported goods would pass a border "road bump" in the Mexican port of Lazaro Cardenas, before being loaded on to lorries for a straight run to a major hub, or "SmartPort", in Kansas, Oklahoma.
Border guards and customs officers would check the electronic security tags of lorries and their holds at a £1.6 million facility being built in Kansas City...
Rail tracks and pipelines for oil and natural gas would run alongside the road.
...construction of the first leg of the Trans-Texas Corridor is reportedly due to begin next year, backed by US state and governmental agencies and a Spanish private sector company, Concessions de Infraestructuras de Transporte....
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